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NFL Could Lose More Than $5.5 Billion If 2020 Season Is Played Without Fans: Report

According to the latest report, the NFL could lose more than $5.5bn in stadium revenue if games are hosted in empty stadiums. Cowboys could lose up to $621m.


The uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic means NFL officials are reportedly still contemplating if the regular season should be played without fans in the stadium. As per the current circumstances, it appears highly likely that the 2020 NFL season will begin with games played in empty stadiums. According to the latest report from Forbes, if the entire season is played behind closed doors, NFL finances will take a hit of more than $5.5 billion in stadium revenue. The report takes into account the sum of tickets, concessions, sponsors, parking and team stores. It also equates to about 38 percent of the total revenue of a franchise (based on 2018 figures).

Also Read | NFL Finances: Steelers Could Lose More Than $156m In Stadium Revenue If NFL Hosts Games Without Fans, NFL 2020 Fixtures

NFL without fans: NFL finances to take a major hit in 2020

While the NFL stands to lose a whopping amount from stadium revenue, among NFL franchises, Dallas Cowboys will likely be the biggest losers. The Cowboys could lose more than $621 million (stadium revenue in 2018) if the regular season is played behind closed doors. The Cowboys also topped the list released by Forbes with total revenue of $950 million in 2018. Cowboys were projected to breach the $1 billion-mark in 2020. However, in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the franchise will lose a more significant portion of their revenue. 

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New England Patriots ($315 million) New York Giants ($262 million), Houston Texans ($218 million) and New York Jets ($218 million) complete the list of the top five franchises who will lose the most in stadium revenue. The figures based on the 2018 season does not take into account several factors which could potentially dictate a franchise losing more or less than what is projected.

Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will move into their new SoFi Stadium while Las Vegas Raiders will move into the Allegiant Stadium. The three teams were projected to have a higher stadium revenue. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who acquired Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the offseason were also expected to rake in significantly higher amounts due to their boost in popularity. Super Bowl LIV champions Kansas City Chiefs are another side who were expected to see higher stadium revenue.

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NFL without fans? NFL 2020 fixtures announced

As it stands, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is yet to make an official announcement regarding the speculation of NFL games being played in empty stadiums. Per reports, the NFL is still determined to host games with fans, but that will depend on the lockdown guidelines come September. Chiefs will play the season opener against Houston Texans at the Arrowhead Stadium. On Tuesday, May 19, training facilities of the Cowboys and several other NFL teams were reopened. The facilities will only be used for injured players for their treatment and rehab.

Also Read | NFL Finances: Owners Agree To Loan LA Rams Another $500m For SoFi Stadium Construction

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