The Financial Impact of Coronavirus on Sports


David D’Annibale, Staff Writer |

Sports industries continue to feel the effects of COVID-19, as all leagues have been either canceled or suspended indefinitely. Every day the coronavirus continues to spread, money is lost. Leagues like the MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA have been greatly affected. Smaller and lower-level leagues will suffer greatly more so due to the fact they do not have as big of a market as the professional leagues. 

After canceling spring training, the MLB announced that the season will be suspended due to concerns for the safety of the players and coaches. With the season suspended until at least May all 30 teams will be losing a lot of money. Team networks will be impacted the most since there won’t be any games to broadcast. Players’ salaries are also at risk due to the pushback of the season. The commissioner has the power to suspend contracts during a national emergency when games aren’t being played. Minor league players will suffer the most, as the average salary for a Single-A player is $6,000, $9,350 for a Double-A, and $15,000 for Triple-A. If the coronavirus continues to spread, the MLB will continue to suffer financial losses. 

The NBA was the first professional league to have players infected with the virus, which resulted in the suspension of the season until further notice. About half of the NBA’s revenue comes from media fees, and no games means no ticket sales for all teams. The NBA will have to decide whether to shorten the season, and changes to the playoff format will be discussed. During this crisis, with facilities shutdown, many teams and players, notably Zion Williams for the New Orleans Pelicans, have donated money to help pay the stadium employees who aren’t able to work during this time. 

While the NFL season has been over since February, COVID-19 could delay the start of the 2020 season. The NFL is already feeling the effects of the virus in regards to the draft. While the draft won’t be suspended, it will not be held to the public in Las Vegas as it has in years prior.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament cancelations resulted in major losses for many college teams. Many of the financial losses could further impact other sports teams’ funding resulting in schools having to cut funding for all sports programs. 

Other leagues like the WNBA and XFL will have a long road ahead of them if things don’t turn around quickly. It will prove difficult for the XFL to stay afloat when the league isn’t able to finish their first season. The same goes for the WNBA, which has been facing financial troubles in the past few years. To note, even the highest-paid player makes less than $130,000 a year.  Leagues must continue to search for alternatives to sustain themselves during this time or we could see major losses to the world of sports. 

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