[Report] NBA Teams Could Lose $405 Million Over Shortened 72-Game Regular Season Schedule

The 2020-21 NBA season is slated to begin before Christmas on Dec. 22.

The league and NBPA agreed to an amended CBA for the 2020-21 season. The draft is next Wednesday, and free agency will officially begin two days later on Nov. 20. Training camp will begin on Dec. 1.

The league and players agreed to reduce the regular season schedule from 82 to 72 games. That may seem somewhat modest, but all 30 teams are going to endure notable financial losses from this.

According to calculations from Team Marketing Report (h/t Bill Shea of The Athletic), the  teams – who will each play five less home games in 2020-21 – will lose “an average of $13.5 million” (a total of $405 million) in revenue from fans.

Team Marketing Report calculated that the 30 clubs average around $2.7 million per game. Those calculations include seating and food and beverage purchases.

The NBA hopes to have a small number of fans in attendance. The current plan is to open the teams’ arena suites with a 25-to-50 percent capacity for the start of the season.

The regular season schedule and dates for the playoffs and NBA Finals haven’t been finalized yet. The expectation is that the 2020-21 season will conclude before the start of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, which begin on July 23.

The NHL is also hoping to finalize a plan and structure for the 2020-21 season. The league is eyeing a start date of Jan. 1, and it’s also believed that they wish to finish the season before the start of the Olympics. This is because NBC, the NHL’s broadcast partner, will also broadcast the Olympics.

Major League Baseball and the players’ union also haven’t finalized their plans for the 2021 season. The NFL, meanwhile, has completed nine of the 17-week regular season schedule, which is slated to conclude on Jan. 3. The playoffs will begin on Jan. 9, with Super Bowl LV taking place on Feb. 7 in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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