Cancellation of NBA Season Could Cost League over $1 Billion

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Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The NBA is still not sure if the rest of the basketball season will be canceled over the coronavirus, but if it does end up shutting down completely, it could cost the league more than one billion dollars.

The league has suspended its season due to the viral outbreak sweeping the world, but it has not quite said the rest of the season is canceled. About 20 percent of the season is still left to be played, according to NBC Sports.

But a recent accounting of the revenue that would be lost if the rest of the 2020 season is canceled reveals a hefty price tag.

According to fivethirthyeight.com:

All told, the total financial impact of suspending the NBA regular season alone could approach a billion dollars, and that only involves one-fifth of the schedule being lost. If the playoffs must be shortened or otherwise altered to fit a new, later timeline, the costs would climb even higher.

In addition, the Washington Post reported that one NBA official said the loss could be as much as $40 million per team, which puts the number at $1.2 billion if the playoffs never come off.

The players could also lose out due to a re-figured salary cap after the shorter season is assessed. Salary caps are based on total season revenue, and if the playoffs end up canceled, the cap will fall up to eight million dollars with the possible lost games.

Per the Atlantic:

Because [Basketball Related Income] is roughly split with the players and then is cut 30 ways to produce a cap number, playing the rest of the season in front of empty crowds could theoretically drop next year’s cap by $8M. That’s the regular season, mind you – doing the same for the playoffs, where the average gate is higher, would siphon away millions more.

Still, the NBA has made no decisions about the last leg of the 2020 season. Games could resume as soon as the virus is seen as a lower risk. Games could resume without fans in the stands, too. It all remains to be seen.

But if the league does scrap the rest of the season, it could cost the NBA a vast amount.

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