Coronavirus May Cost Sports Billions

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  • The sports hiatus erased $3.25 billion fans would have spent on sports.
  • Partial or full loss of the NCAA football and NFL seasons would cost billions more.

As the world came to a halt in March, uncertainty swirled about the shutdown’s impact on the $100 billion U.S. sports industry. According to an ESPN report, 3 million sports-related jobs are at risk and the industry could take a $12 billion hit.

The report assumes that MLB and MLS resume at least half their seasons, while the NBA and NHL regular seasons would be canceled and playoffs played without fans.

Key Loses

  • $3.25 billion fans would have spent on sports
  • $371 million in wages
  • $2.2 billion in TV revenue
  • $2.4 billion in youth sports tourism

Damage by Level

  • Pro Sports: $5.5 billion
  • College: $3.9 billion
  • Youth: $2.4 billion

Whether or not the football calendar is affected adds another dimension to the situation. Each NFL regular-season game generates approximately $24 million in TV revenue and the 65 Power 5 football programs bring in about $5 billion in revenue, according to ESPN.