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Nov. 14, 2020 - Michael Stewart

COVID-19 Pandemic/The affects in our Top 4 Major Sports in the US.

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has effected everyone’s lives in one way or the other and until a vaccine is developed and distributed worldwide; we shouldn’t expect any changes in the way we currently live our lives. Economically; the majority of businesses (small and large) have suffered and that includes the world of sports. In the United States, the four major sports (Football, Baseball, Basketball & Hockey) have all suffered financial hardship, but just how much revenue lost are we talking? In this article; which will be a four-part series breaking down the projected lose revenue of each major sport in America. First up will be the National Football League:

It’s being estimated that the NFL will lose roughly $2.7B in revenue this season collectively as some teams will suffer more than others. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL was projecting a salary cap in excess of $200M in 2021; which was more than likely going to increase the following years once the league and the player’s union signed a new CBA (collective bargaining agreement). Unfortunately; with the pandemic limiting and/or restricting fan attendance at all stadiums; the NFL must now make drastic adjustments moving forward. Before the start of this season, The NFL and NFLPA had agreed upon a cap floor of $175M; which was a step drop from the previous cap floor of $198.2M. This financial adjustment could affect the NFL cap space for not only 2021, but perhaps the following year in 2022.

However; all is not totally lost as the NFL contracts with the Networks are set to end by 2022; which will enable the NFL to negotiate more profitable deals. Networks such as ESPN and NBC will likely have a bidding war for the rights to host Sunday Night Football; whereas Fox is already discussing a massive deal with the NFL to extend broadcasting rights for many more years. The NFL has established themselves over the past several decades financially and should be able to withstand the fallout from the pandemic, but it will have some effect on each team and how they can move forward to improve their respective teams.  

Final Thoughts: Among the top 4 major sports in the United States, the NFL is the juggernaut in terms of revenue; followed by Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and finally the National Hockey League. The NFL has done a good job monitoring the players and coaches on a daily basis to maintain any notion of an outbreak of Covid-19. Next off season, we should see less teams bidding on the elite free agents as players will have less leverage and could settle of less than what was expected. Keep an eye out for my next article on the affects of covid-19 as we look at Major League Baseball.