Gate revenue is approximately 36.6% of the NHL’s entire revenue for a season (30% in baseball, 22% in NBA basketball, and 15% in the NFL). And although the league completed approximately 85% of the 2019-2020 regular season, Steve Simons of the Toronto Sun is reporting that playing games to empty arenas to complete the 2019-2020 season will mean the NHL will lose nearly $500 million in potential revenue. There is nothing the league can do about that.
However, getting the regular season and playoffs finished, even to empty arenas, will save the league another $500 million in lost revenue that will come from network television and sponsorship.
That’s a huge chunk of change for a league that netted $5.09 billion last season. You can begin to see the League’s relentless desire to complete the 2019-2020 season.
If there aren’t any games played, which remains a possibility, that’s $1 billion lost from the bottom line. If that happens, that’s a loss around $30 million per team, from which some teams would have trouble recovering.
That could even mean losing several teams. “The hockey Guy” does an excellent job of explaining why that is.
Many have called for the end of the 2019-2020 season, and there is no question that doing so would be the safest thing to do. However, considering the size of potential losses, and the long term affect, such as teams folding, you can see why the league has been steadfast in its desire to complete the season.
Simons adds, there is no assurance of any kind that there will be fans in any building when next season begins and while the salary cap is expected to be artificially maintained in the $82-million range, a drop the following season to below $70 million is, in fact, possible, based on the league’s potential numbers, which could plunge the NHL into a state of player contract havoc.
By Jon Sorensen