The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced all 32 NFL teams to strictly limit or entirely disallow fans at their 2020 home games.
No team has allowed full capacity this season. The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFL in attendance, having averaged 24,262 fans per game at AT&T Stadium. And predictably, the extremely small attendance numbers will lead to major financial losses across the NFL.
According to Team Marketing Report (h/t Bill Shea of The Athletic), the NFL could absorb a $2.7 billion deficit from simply not having full crowds in the 2020 season.
The NFL is currently planning to have around a 20 percent capacity for Super Bowl LV (13,000 to 15,000 fans), which is scheduled slated to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida on Feb. 7.
The NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB all braced themselves for significant losses for 2020. These four professional sports leagues earn billions of dollars annually in gate revenue. The financial losses have unfortunately led to many layoffs across the professional sports industry. The NHL also decided to retain its $81.5 million cap for the 2020-21 season.
Also, several big-named NHL and MLB free agents have lost out on massive contracts in a year full of revenue losses. Several NHL stars settled on short-term deals in the October free agent market, hoping to set themselves up for lucrative contracts down the road.
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The NHL and MLB haven’t agreed to structures for their upcoming seasons. For the NL, there are plenty of questions to sort through regarding travel, possible division realignment (possibly an all-Canadian division)) and possible bubble cities.
Meanwhile, the NBA is optimistic about starting the 2020-21 season before Christmas day on Dec. 22. The league finished out its 2019-20 regular season in the hub city of Orlando, Florida.
The 2020 NFL regular season is scheduled to conclude on Jan. 3, with the postseason beginning six days later on Jan. 9.
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