Earlier this month, the NFL released the schedule for the 2020 season. In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a lot of uncertainty still remains regarding whether NFL games will go ahead as scheduled and whether games will be hosted in empty stadiums. Despite the league officials being reportedly determined to host games in front of the fans, given the circumstances, it appears highly likely that fans will not be allowed inside the stadiums during the regular season. According to the latest analysis by Forbes, the NFL stands to lose more than $5.5 billion in stadium revenue if the entire season is played without fans.
According to the analysis, the NFL would lose more than $5.5 billion in stadium revenue which takes into consideration the money from tickets, concessions, sponsors, parking and team stores. This also equates to about 38 percent of the total revenue generated by the franchises in 2018. Per Forbes' reports, Pittsburgh Steelers are projected to lose over $156 million if the 'NFL behind closed doors' scenario is implemented for the entirety of the coming season.
In 2018, Steelers stadium revenue was estimated to be around $156 million from games at Heinz Field with total revenue coming up to $439 million. The Steelers stand to lose almost all of its 2018 gate recipients if the season is played behind closed doors. According to reports in the US, Steelers' home stadium Heinz Field in Allegheny County falls under the 'yellow' phase of Pennsylvania’s re-opening plan. This means a large gathering of more than 25 people is still prohibited in the area. However, the training facilities of the Steelers, as well as many other NFL teams, will be reopening on May 19.
Dallas Cowboys stand to lose the most if games are played without fans. Cowboys are projected to lose a league-high $621 million. New England Patriots ($315 million) and New York Giants ($262 million) are the other teams that stand to lose significant sums. The franchise with the lowest projected loss is Cincinnati Bengals at $99 million.
Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders will be moving into SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium respectively, ahead of the upcoming campaign. Both franchises were expected to register higher revenues, which now appears difficult. The same stands true for Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who signed Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the offseason. The Buccaneers were entering the 2020 season as one of the most exciting teams to watch, but will likely suffer a higher financial hit than projected. Meanwhile, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has gotten rid of his enormous beard as he prepares to train with the team and brace himself for NFL face masks.