One of the ongoing debates regarding the 2020 NFL season is if fans will be in attendance for the first games of the new decade. If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that NFL owners are hoping that there is, and that's because if there isn't their businesses will be losing a lot of money.
Take the New England Patriots for example; Forbes' Mike Ozanian punched the numbers from the 2018 season to figure out how much each organization would lose in revenue if fans were not in attendance for games this year. The Patriots were No. 2 on his list for "team stadium revenue," which accounts for money brought in from tickets, concessions, sponsors, parking and team stores - essentially revenue brought in due to fans being in attendance at games.
Here are the top 10 teams in the league in terms of total team stadium revenue for the 2018 season, per Ozanian:
1) Dallas Cowboys : $621 million
2) New England Patriots: $315 million
3) New York Giants: $262 million
4) Houston Texans: $218 million
5) New York Jets: $218 million
6) San Francisco 49ers: $208 million
7) Washington Redskins: $205 million
8) Atlanta Falcons: $204 million
9) Philadelphia Eagles: $204 million
10) Green Bay Packers: $174 million
While the Cowboys nearly doubled New England's stadium revenue in 2018, the Patriots - who based on these numbers would lose $315 million in revenue this upcoming season if fans were not in attendance - would still have a very, very large revenue loss. Stadium revenue accounted for just over 50% of the Patriots' total revenue that year ($600 million). Last on the list is the Las Vegas Raiders - at $77 million - which, to the common person, is still a hefty loss. And they just dumped money into a new stadium, so losing money after relocating would be a big hit, and their revenue for the 2020 season would likely been much more than what they made in 2018.
These numbers put into perspective what the circumstances are for NFL owners. Even if games are played in 2020, teams will be at a significant loss if fans are not in attendance. Though that isn't going to make NFL owners wallets happy, let's hope they use proper information and have the best interest of the general public at heart when it comes to them and the league deciding on who will be in attendance for games if/when the 2020 season begins.
Whether games can be played or fans can be in attendance will ultimately be determined by local and state regulations. But the NFL will play a significant part in how how things shake out in terms of the pandemic later this year.