Latest On COVID-19’s Financial Impact On NFL

The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered the NFL draft and its offseason, and questions about the viability of the training camp and the regular season are beginning to surface. Major financial fallout would grip the league in the event its regular season is altered and/or features no fans.

If the 2020 regular season occurs entirely without fans in stadiums, the NFL will stand to lose approximately $2.3 billion, Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com notes. This would put not just the 2021 salary cap at risk of plummeting, it could set the NFL on course for cap reductions over a multiyear span.

For the time being, the NFL and team execs agreed to raise each team’s debt limit from $350MM to $500MM, Wickersham reports. The NFL most recently raised franchises’ debt limit just two years ago, when the figure jumped from $250MM to $350MM.¬†Owners are set to vote on the new debt limit raise May 19.

Just after the pandemic hit, the NFL was still prepared to negotiate new TV deals. Armed with a new CBA that included two extra playoff games per season and an 18-week regular season beginning as soon as 2021, the league was expected to secure windfall agreements from networks. A cap spike that would push the NFL’s salary ceiling past $260MM by 2023 was in play. Now, the prospect of the cap falling from this year’s $198MM place is firmly in play. This would play a significant role in teams’ contract situations.

Increased advertising serves way to make up for big losses. Various staffers agree the league must open up new ad avenues, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports notes. Teams are currently not allowed to place ads within 40 feet of each field’s surface; the goal posts reach 35 feet from ground level. But with the coronavirus creating unprecedented uncertainty for the NFL, it will likely explore other ways to generate revenue — in the event fans cannot attend games.

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12 comments on “Latest On COVID-19’s Financial Impact On NFL

    • crosseyedlemon

      It’s basically the amount of debt that can be on the balance sheet without your credit rating being adversely affected.

  1. JJB0811

    Ugh yeah, Goodell isn’t giving up $2.3B. Actually, when has he ever given up money? The show will go on, just like the draft, the release of the schedule, & everything else.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Yep. It simply means greed will be accelerated beginning 2021 with increased ticket prices and merchandising charges. Fans always need their football fix so you can bleed them as much as you want.

      • crosseyedlemon

        About 20 million other Americans gave up their salary when they lost their job to covid19. I don’t think this makes him a hero.

  2. Freshisfresh

    Any guesses on the new revenue stream?
    Some of my guesses:
    – ads on jerseys
    – more ads on fields, goal posts, footballs, first down markers, etc
    – allow teams to sell naming rights to teams. Examples, Green Bay Amazon Packers, Cleveland Taco Bell Browns, or Houston Exxon Texans.

  3. Ramon Garciaparra

    Every nfl game will be sold as a national game. Amazon, hbo, you tube, acorn, etc. will each have a Sunday afternoon game. Hulu Friday night game of the week, Netflix Saturday night game of the week. The Honolulu Bills will be featured live on Showtime Sunday after dark. National legalized gambling. Place your bets at nfl.com. Sponsored Live chat during games with former players, coaches, and broadcasters. Tv+ where users pay extra for multiple camera angles including 360 and cheerleader cam. Sponsored Coach Mike where you listen in on the team coaching box similar to NASCAR. The RedBull Red Zone. Endless.

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