NFL will reportedly lose $5.5 billion if games are played in empty stadiums

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

If NFL teams play games without fans in the stands in 2020, the league could lose $5.5 billion, according Forbes’ Mike Ozanian.

That figure is based on stadium revenue from the 2018 season, according to Forbes.

The NFL would lose $5.5 billion of stadium revenue (the sum of tickets, concessions, sponsors, parking and team stores) — or 38% of its total revenue — based on figures for the 2018 season (ranking below). But the impact on the individual teams would vary greatly. For example, the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots would lose over half their total revenue while the Buffalo Bills, the Tennessee Titans and the Cincinnati Bengals would lose less than one-third.

As Ozanian points out, some teams will be hit harder than others. The Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, teams that made a significant amount of money through stadium revenue in 2018, will lose a larger percentage of total revenue in 2020 compared to teams like the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

Even in a season where fans can attend games, the Patriots may have seen a drop in total revenue after Tom Brady left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It won’t just be teams who suffer from the lack of fans in the stands. NFL players receive between 47 percent and 48.5 percent of total revenue as part of the collective-bargaining agreement. That figure will take a significant hit if fans are not allowed to attend games in 2020.

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