NFL revenue drops from $16 billion in 2019 to $12 billion in 2020

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Even though the NFL managed to play all 256 regular-season games and all 13 postseason games, the league lost a large chunk of money due to the pandemic.

According to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, the league saw its revenue fall from $16 billion in 2019 to $12 billion in 2020. The league had expected to generate $16.5 billion last year, before the pandemic changed everything.

The NFL wiped out its entire preseason due to the pandemic. Also, attendance fell from more than 17 million to little more than one million.

The league undoubtedly will earn significantly more this year and beyond, given the expectation that many (if not most) stadiums will be full this year. Regardless, the $4 billion that was lost in 2020 isn’t coming back.

43 responses to “NFL revenue drops from $16 billion in 2019 to $12 billion in 2020

  1. Well darn. The billionaires don’t have as many billions to swim in like Scrooge mcduck. Am I supposed to feel sorry for them as I wait on my stimulus check to keep the heat on in the house?

  2. I dont see anyone asking you to feel bad for the owners. But keep in mind revenue is money that comes in, and doesnt include expenses: salaries, stadium debt, debt for people who purchased teams, travel, equipment, etc. In a year where you projected growth, and instead took a 25% cut in revenue – it makes an impact.

  3. Without the fans for all those games, I really thought the losses would be more.

  4. I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for the owners or the players for that matter. But if you do the math. A 25% reduction in revenue should reduce the 2021 salary cap also by 25%. That would set the 2021 salary cap at $148.5M. The owners set the 2021 cap at $182.5M I’m not a big fan of the owners but it looks like they did a solid for the players in this case…

  5. Wait so why is the cap going down again?

    Other major sports leagues cap remained the same and I’m pretty sure they made less.

  6. upnorthvikesfan says:
    March 11, 2021 at 5:22 pm
    Without the fans for all those games, I really thought the losses would be more.

    0 2 Rate This


    odd statement…most of the money is in the tv deals.

    4 billion is significant

  7. The real problem is all the workers that were laid off that are scraping to get by whilst the owners are still billionaires and still making absurd money off the backs of the working class, yet still feel the need to lay off working class people just so they can save money they’d never ever live long enough to spend or even make a dent in.

  8. Many businesses around the country would have loved to have a year like the NFL.

  9. Gives you an idea that cap should have fallen in 20-25% range. Was reduced less than 10%, so fair to say it won’t grow much for the next few years as owners will recoup the amounts from future players (loans paid back, in essence).

  10. I find it odd that people are rooting for the losses to be more next year (at least one very direct comment with a lot of thumbs up) or just happy that they lost money given that we’re not exactly here because we hate the game of football. I’m neither a fan nor not a fan of “ownership” (certain owners yes or no) because I realize without “ownership” there would be no game. They invested in this thing called the NFL that makes me happy several months out of the year. When they stop making money there will not be this thing called the NFL, we will have no football. Seems strange to me.

  11. Called Ms Cleo, she say dramatic price increases in anything NFL related in our future

  12. That’s a lot of money lost considering the pandemic and everyone’s watching more tv. Maybe pigging out on 4 hour broadcasts with 30 commercial breaks is starting to lose people’s interest

  13. The NFL will be fine. It’s the small businesses that were strangled by the year long lockdowns. We’ll feel those affects for generations to come.

  14. I wonder what the revenue is for stadiums/attendance. I’m thinking they’re still receiving political ramifications, that the league forced upon its viewers.

  15. Not all the losses came from the flu, lot’s of fans took a knee on the league.

  16. Funny how people are trained to think those who have more money than they do are the enemy. Without the wealthy owners, there wouldn’t be any football. Wrap your heads around that. Or maybe you all think the government should take iver the nfl. You all probably complain because your boss makes more than you do. Stop pretending the wealthy people stole their money from you.

  17. I boycotted every game this year except the SB, and it was so relaxing and freeing to be rid of Goodell and his weapons grade incompetence. He sucks in just the deepest way. Have fun losing more money all the time forever.

  18. I think the real question is; what was the NFL profit last season? Sure, they made $4 bil less than the year before, but they didn’t “lose a large chunk of money”. They made much less revenue.

  19. If you really think this gives the owners a credible excuse to make pay cuts, personnel cuts, increase stadium prices, and everything else they’re doing to simply refill their deeeeep pockets, while the average man is hurting WAY MORE… you’re a simple minded sheep. The NFL doesn’t have competition or entertainment in mind – they have profit in mind. Fair enough to them, but don’t forget it.

  20. How tragic. I’m going to put together a gofundme for these poor NFL execs and owners.

  21. When we hear the words “billion” or “million” tossed around, I think we don’t really understand the difference.
    If you were given a million dollars and told to spend $1000 per day, it would you take 3 years to spend it.
    If you were given a billion dollars and told to spend $1000 per day, it would you take you 3000 years to spend it.
    So — a billion dollars is a whole lot of money, no matter who you are.

  22. neverdieeasy says: “Did Goodell chip in? Take a cut? They move in silence.”

    Um, Goodell volunteered to forego his FULL salary during the pandemic indefinitely last April 29th…

  23. mikeyb says:
    March 12, 2021 at 10:31 am
    When we hear the words “billion” or “million” tossed around, I think we don’t really understand the difference.
    I think a more accurate way to say this is; the NFL revenue dropped 25% during the pandemic. They will be just fine.

  24. With the $15 million salary reduction this year, it still leaves about a billion for the owners to recover from the players revenue side to make up for not reducing the salary cap by 25% or so which would have been around $50 million per team. I don’t think the owners will simply give that money to the players so expect another 3 or 4 years of flat to minimal salary cap growth to recover that loan made to the players. Not good for high priced vets and teams that are paying their QB’s in the $30 million plus category.

  25. Personally, I’m happy to see the NFL getting weaker. What used to pass for sports is now a leftist mob at work and not worth the time to view it. Go broke few will care. Maybe all of these players can all learn to code for a living

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