If the NFL ends up making the decision to ban fans from games for the 2020 season, there will definitely be some serious financial consequences, and although every team will take a financial hit, no one will feel it more than the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots.
According to Forbes.com, those two teams could potentially lose out on more than $300 million each in stadium revenue if the NFL doesn't allow fans to attend games this year. On the Cowboys' end, the team could end up losing out on more than $600 million. That's more than half a billion if you're scoring at home. Overall, all NFL teams combined would stand to lose out on at least $5.5 billion of stadium revenue, which includes everything from tickets to concessions to sponsors to parking to the team merchandise sold inside the stadium.
The NFL's most recent stadium revenue numbers come from 2018, which was a year where the Cowboys pulled in $621 million, which represented a whopping 65.4% of their of their total revenue ($950 million). During their 10 homes games, the Cowboys pulled in nearly double what the next closest team pulled in. With those numbers coming from 2018, it's safe to say that the Cowboys would miss out on even more revenue since the stadium number would likely be even higher for the 2020 season.
The team with the second-highest stadium revenues in 2018 was the Patriots, who pulled in a total of $315 million that year. That number represented 52.5% of the team's total $600 million revenue that year. The Cowboys and Patriots are the only two teams in the NFL that raked in more than $300 million in stadium revenue.
They're also two of just three teams who made more than 50% of their total revenue from their stadium. The other team was the Giants, who saw 50.5% of their total revenue ($519 million) come from their stadium, which produced $262 million in revenue.
Although these three teams could all lose out on a substantial amount, they're not the only ones. Every single NFL team would potentially lose out on at least $100 million in stadium revenue if fans aren't allowed to attend games this season.
Basically, what this all means is that NFL teams are going to lose a lot money if there are no fans in the stands.
CBSSports.com's Jonathan Jones did a three-part series on what kind of impact a no-fan season could have on the NFL. If you want to know how teams would potentially look to make back the lost revenue, . To find out what kind of effect the lowered revenues would potentially have on the salary cap, (Spoiler alert: Lower revenues would lead to a lower salary cap, which could have devastating consequences for teams with no cap space).
A potentially lower salary cap number could also have an impact on future contract negotiations, which is notable, because several big extensions will likely be signed this offseason with guys like Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes set to possibly get a deal done. For instance, if Mahomes got a deal with $40 million per year, that's something that Chiefs could handle if the cap goes up in 2021. However, if the cap went down to say, $170 million, due to the revenue drop that would come with no fans, all the sudden, Mahomes would be eating up 23.5% of their cap space, and the Chiefs would then have to sign their other 52 players with only 76.5% of their cap space available.