Losses to cities for NFL games without fans could be staggering

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The NFL remains highly optimistic that the 2020 season will be played. The NFL has become less optimistic that fans will be present for the games. That would have a major economic impact on the NFL; the NFLPA has pegged it at $3 billion. It also could have a major economic impact on NFL cities.

While no numbers have been widely circulated yet regarding the loss of 10 regular-season crowds, the mayor of Tuscaloosa, Alabama recently said that his city will lose $2 billion if the Crimson Tide don’t play their home games in 2020.

“It would be economically catastrophic for Tuscaloosa if there is no football season,” Walt Maddox told CBS42.com. “Even a mitigated football season with restricted attendance and number of ball games would have dire economic consequences.”

The school itself would lose $25.1 million per game — a total of $175.7 million for seven home games that would be lost (or played with fewer or no fans) in 2020. The broader loss for Tuscaloosa dwarfs that number. Beyond the fact that these ridiculously large dollars further make the case for college football players getting something more than tuition, books, room, board, and snacks, it suggests that 256 regular-season NFL games played without fans would result in staggering losses for the 30 cities that host NFL teams.

Whatever the financial losses, the public-health realities of the coronavirus likely will prevail. As the season approaches, the NFL seems to be coming to grips with the fact that, given the current state of the pandemic, it will be too difficult and too risky to allow fans to attend the games.

29 responses to “Losses to cities for NFL games without fans could be staggering

  1. Finicial losses = lose of life as well. I have read many studies from the 2011 Cambridge’s study showing 2.5M people die in this country from poverty related causes to the lowest I saw was over 1.5M. Most agreed that about 80% of the death total annually in the USA came earlier than they should have and the main cause was poverty. People in poverty have a staggering high mortality rate from ages 25 to 65. They are also the first people we sacrifice when we get scared.

  2. Seems like the bulk of this article is about a single college town with one sentence alluding to NFL cities.
    Also, duh!

  3. Translation: More small business closures. Another increase in unemployment. Less sales tax revenues for state and local governments. Deeper deficits. Cuts in spending on schools, infrastructure, etc. The domino effects of this are only now manifesting themselves.

  4. Moot point. No way there’s college football this year (they can’t put players in a bubble and continue to pretend they are “students”), and it’s hard to see the NFL navigating COVID, either.

  5. Long story short: if this keeps up, ve prepared to pay the price of parking for a single beer

  6. Wait. I thought the accepted liberal talking point was that cities shouldnt help fund these stadiums, because they dont bring revenue to the city where the stadium was constructed. Everytime one of these billionaires wants tax credits or taxpayer funding, they say things like “the stadium will add jobs, increase revenue, blah blah blah”. And then the Florios of the country say, “No, no, no. This doesnt add jobs. This doesnt add revenue. This is just welfare for the wealthy”… And now a study says that no fans at the games will… wait for it…. cost these cities a boat load of cash. Weird. Both cant be true. Discuss…

  7. On a percentage basis, Green Bay has to be right at the top for economic impact. They won’t give up a home game to play overseas as they cite the economic impact. 10 lost games, plus a potential lost playoff game, would hit that economy pretty hard.

  8. The f**kin’ Catalina Wine Mixer says: “Wait. I thought the accepted liberal talking point was that cities shouldnt help fund these stadiums, because they dont bring revenue to the city where the stadium was constructed.”
    ———————-

    Pretty sure many liberals AND conservatives were against funding stadiums. Confused why you think only “liberals” make dumb excuses…

  9. I believe that the cities of Oakland, St.Louis and San Diego couldn’t care less.

  10. It’s almost like having your entire economy beholden to one product is a bad idea. Huh.

  11. “Wait. I thought the accepted liberal talking point was that cities shouldnt help fund these stadiums, because they dont bring revenue to the city where the stadium was constructed. Everytime one of these billionaires wants tax credits or taxpayer funding, they say things like “the stadium will add jobs, increase revenue, blah blah blah”. And then the Florios of the country say, “No, no, no. This doesnt add jobs. This doesnt add revenue. This is just welfare for the wealthy”… And now a study says that no fans at the games will… wait for it…. cost these cities a boat load of cash. Weird. Both cant be true. Discuss…”

    Partly because if a city PAYS FOR the stadium, then future proceeds have to be counted against the cost of paying for the stadium.

    But the mayor of Tuscaloosa better start pinching pennies cause there’s not gonna be college football this year. With the pro’s its private business and paid, adult, employees making decisions. Colleges are state institutions and the football players are nominally “students”. And you’d need every college from every state, basically, to play or you can’t have functioning conferences.

    State governments are not putting students at risk for our entertainment. No way no how. I mean, a few might, because they are idiots. But it would take all of them being idiots to play a season and that ain’t happening.

    Nor SHOULD it. One of my kids played college soccer. If her college was now telling me that they were going to play the season, putting my kid at risk, so as not to impact bleepin’ revenues I’d yank her out of there so fast…….

  12. where does that money go? if you don’t have college football, do people take $100 bills outside and burn them? or do they spend the money on something else, locally perhaps instead of traveling? or, heaven forbid, do people simply accrue less debt, which is typically a good thing, yes?

  13. I wonder how this materially affects Las Vegas and by extension Nevada as a whole? That $750MM free money came together via increased hotel taxes, now that’s dried up in the short term (maybe long term?) are Nevadans going to be stuck covering the losses?

  14. Sure, sports bars as such will take a hit. But other things will benefit: people might go to a movie, a different restaurant, take up a new hobby. People will spend their money elsewhere. A perfect example: the pandemic almost ruined fitness centers but businesses that sell home gym equipment have never seen better days.

    In the end, it all balances out.

  15. Pretend you are at an NFL game. Pay $40 to park in your driveway and $15 per beer. LOL.

  16. If the average is taken of the median 30 states death totals per capita infected and calculated to create an average among all states. the death total is actually 70K people. Basing the rate of infection in asymptomatic carriers per results from random studies, 180,000,000 people are or have already had the covid-19. Considering these rates, the virus has nearly run its course. Another month and a half will put this country at herd immunity levels.

    More cases doesn’t mean more spread. The spread is actually decreasing and testing is widely available and many, many more people are being tested.

    The fear should be subsiding at this point. We should be looking at getting back to normal. There doesn’t have to be a “new normal”. There is no evidence we are still in danger. States are reopening and the rates are dropping. It is time for a sigh of relief, not paralyzing fear. Let’s move on. It’s over.

  17. Among many lessons from COVID is how much we rely on completely non-essential things for our “normal” – the normal of how we feel, and the normal of how our economy operates.

    It should be a wake-up call that we are prioritizing and relying on the wrong things.

  18. It’s gonna hurt because people like me are going to stay home anyway. Listening to baseball players who make millions whine about not getting their full income has completely turned me off to that sport. I will never attend another baseball game.

    College football is where my attention is going to be focused. Kids playing hard for their payday.

    NFL will be hit or miss just because at my age it’s getting harder to pay $150 per ticket or more, $60.00 for a parking spot 2 miles from the stadium, $100 on food. Not beer, food. I have triplet boys. We just bought a projector for our outdoor patio, with a 110″ screen. We will staying home and saving almost $800 per home game. And God forbid they lose a couple games this year those numbers will go up drstically so they can “make it back”.

    I will take kids to college games.

  19. I seem to believe that the NFL would prefer higher tv ratings as opposed to filled stadiums. . I’m no economist, but the more people watching games on tv translate to bigger television networks contacts for the NFL when it comes to negotiating in the future…

  20. The City of Jacksonville is working hard to figure out how to make up the $7.35 shortfall caused by Jaguars games being played without fans.

  21. If the average is taken of the median 30 states death totals per capita infected and calculated to create an average among all states. the death total is actually 70K people. Basing the rate of infection in asymptomatic carriers per results from random studies, 180,000,000 people are or have already had the covid-19. Considering these rates, the virus has nearly run its course. Another month and a half will put this country at herd immunity levels.

    “More cases doesn’t mean more spread. The spread is actually decreasing and testing is widely available and many, many more people are being tested.

    The fear should be subsiding at this point. We should be looking at getting back to normal. There doesn’t have to be a “new normal”. There is no evidence we are still in danger. States are reopening and the rates are dropping. It is time for a sigh of relief, not paralyzing fear. Let’s move on. It’s over.”

    I literally lol’d

  22. There definitely would be losses but I’d love to see the math behind that $2 billion figure. Alabama has 7 home games and their stadium seats right at 100,000. To hit $2 billion every person in attendance would need to spend $2,800 locally each and every game. No way that a family of 4 attending the game is spending over $11,000 locally.

  23. The first law of thermodynamics: energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.

    Newton’s third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    “In the end, it all balances out.” This is accurate, but is it the right answer?

    Many Mom & Pop stores have disappeared because we buy at big box stores or online. We still buy, but the profits go else ware. The local sport bar will see revenue drop while the local liquor store sees an increase, the “all balances out” doesn’t make the sports bar owner feel any better.

  24. If things keep getting worse here the NFL should consider making some sort of a one season deal with a Covid-free country like New Zealand, whereby they send all the teams to live in their cities and play in their rugby stadiums. Not sure if rugby fields could accommodate football games but one thing’s for sure, NFl tv ratings would still be through the roof, and if the NFL throws in free cold beer, the Kiwi’s would pack the stands and never stop cheering even if they don’t understand what’s happening.

  25. The guy above who said he’d take his triplets to college games is literally willing to risk his kids health so he can pay to watch other people’s kids risk theirs.

    That ain’t right. THINK, people.

  26. the losses could be staggering for the players as well on multiple fronts….they don’t seem to concerned about it…why should we…

  27. Aloha,
    I have not heard about letting the teams add some players above the 53 and above the practice squad 10. When someone is quarantined it is likely that at least 2 – 3 others will soon also be quarantined the next week, on average.Unless they plan to forfeit games due to lack of 53 players to activate, some deeper benches need to be in place. Seems like a win win for teams and NFLPA. Wonder what is holding up that part of the plan?

    and

    WOW! Wicked lot of money. No wonder the colleges love free (almost) labor. (Giving a scholarship toward a degree costs almost no money at the margin. Just like a movie theater giving out a few free tickets costs almost nothing a the margin.) Only real cash outlay is feeding the scholarship student athletes, and buying them books..

    Anyway-
    Peace.

  28. Building a city’s economy around sports and entertainment, instead of manufacturing, can have this result.

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