2020 was a rough year for, well, just about everything. Including sports, with leagues canceling hundreds of events. The MLB sued its insurers to get back the billions it said it lost on unsold tickets and concessions.
This year, games with fans are back, though teams will be paying much more for insurance.
Insurance premiums for games could double next year, according to broker NFP. But Joe Favorito, a sports marketing consultant who teaches at Columbia University, said not letting fans back in is financially just not an option for teams.
“You need to have fans in the stand,” he said. “So you’ll see teams running the risk of not having the proper insurance, versus not having people in the building.”
He expects teams will try and absorb the increased cost of insurance, in an effort to woo reluctant fans back.
Attracting those fans in person is a bigger deal for some sports than others. Marc Edelman, professor of sports law at Baruch College, said NFL teams get the biggest share of their revenue from TV deals and will be the least hurt by fans staying home.
“By contrast, baseball and hockey teams have generated the greatest share of their revenue from live attendance,” he said.
But at the end of the day, Edelman too said no sport can survive without a live crowd.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?
The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.
What kind of help can small businesses get right now?
A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.
What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?
New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.
News and information you need, from a source you trust.
In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.
This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.