49ers, Levi's Stadium could lose $208 million if NFL plays without fans

Alex Didion
NBC Sports BayArea

Although California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday that sports could return to the state in early June, he maintained that will have to be without fans in the seats.

Forbes estimated what NFL teams could lose in stadium revenue if the entire season is played without fans, and the 49ers could lose the sixth-most income, a staggering $208 million. All estimates were based on 2018 league revenues.

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42 percent of a team's normal earnings is a sizable chunk, but for comparison, the Dallas Cowboys could be losing $621 million, or 65 percent of that 2018 mark.

The top five ahead of the 49ers shakes out like this: Dallas, the New England Patriots, New York Giants, Houston Texans and New York Jets.

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The NFL as a whole could lose $5.5 billion in stadium revenue, which likely would have serious ramifications on the salary cap and free agency.

Both the players and owners would feel the hit, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in March yields the NFLPA 47 percent of football-related income for 2020, and 48 percent for 2021.

NFL teams have begun reopening facilities, although the 49ers are not among them.

Unfortunately, there's likely little chance of California having spectators at professional sporting events in 2020 given the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Even as light is appearing at the end of the tunnel, the financial consequences could be severe for leagues across the country.

49ers, Levi's Stadium could lose $208 million if NFL plays without fans originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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