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MLB Revenue Losses During COVID-19
Opening day has arrived, which means the 2021 MLB season is in full swing. And not only is baseball back, but live attendance is also returning this season.
With all 30 MLB ballparks allowing fans into the stands in some type of capacity this year, we were curious to take a look back at the 2020 MLB season to calculate how much revenue was lost without any ticket sales due to COVID-19.
Our analysis includes estimated live attendance revenue losses for all 30 MLB teams based on average ticket price data and attendance figures from 2019, which is the last season MLB had full attendance.
2020 MLB Revenue Losses
Based on our analysis, MLB lost an estimated $2,474,793,849 during the 2020 season due to no live attendance. The top 10 teams with the largest revenue losses account for more than half of the overall league losses including Los Angeles Dodgers ($183,454,103.44), Chicago Cubs ($179,099,837.55), Boston Red Sox ($175,740,836.43), New York Yankees ($171,201,171.24), Houston Astros ($158,812,457.86), St. Louis Cardinals ($124,145,618.31), Washington Nationals ($107,249,206.26), San Francisco Giants ($101,053,603.20), Philadelphia Phillies ($98,296,252.84) and the Los Angeles Angels ($93,471,469.20).
Collectively, these 10 teams account for more than $1.3 billion in league live attendance revenue losses, according to our analysis. In 2019, these 10 teams drew a total of 30,353,937 fans to their home games.
Among all MLB teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers drew the largest number of fans to their home games in 2019 with 3,974,309 fans overall. The St. Louis Cardinals drew the second largest (3,480,393) followed by the New York Yankees (3,304,404).
2020 MLB Revenue Losses Per Game
Along with analyzing the overall live attendance revenue losses for MLB in 2020, we also broke down the numbers to estimate live attendance revenue losses per game.
On average, the Los Angeles Dodgers drew 49,065 fans to home games in 2019. With an average ticket price of $46.16, the Dodgers lost an estimated $2,264,840.40 per game last year.
The Chicago Cubs were estimated to have suffered the second-highest live attendance revenue losses per game. In 2019, the Cubs drew an average of 38,208 fans. With an average ticket price of $57.87, the Cubs are estimated to have lost an average of $2,211,096.96 per home game. And the Boston Red Sox weren’t too far behind with an estimated $2,169,609.54 in lost live attendance revenue per home game.
While it remains to be seen how much revenue MLB teams will generate in the 2021 season, the one thing that is for certain is that fans are ready to cheer louder than ever before as they witness the return of live baseball.
MLB live attendance revenue loss estimates for the 2020 season were based on the average ticket price for each MLB team and calculated using total 2019 home game attendance as well as average 2019 home game attendance. Average ticket price costs were sourced from Team Marketing Report’s 2019-2020 MLB Fan Cost Index reports and live attendance figures were sourced via ESPN and MLB. Please note this study does not factor in estimated food, beverage, merchandise, or souvenir revenue and only includes estimated gate revenue.
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