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NBA faces serious potential revenue loss from coronavirus

NBA revenue in 2018 was $8 billion. This year, lost revenue could exceed $1 billion if the NBA can't resume play, according to recent analysis.

WASHINGTON — We’re supposed to be in the home stretch of the NBA regular season right now, with the playoffs tipping off in less than a month. But with sports on an indefinite hiatus, the NBA might be facing serious financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

"By virtue of an NBA player being tested and the kind of attention it brought, my sense was that, especially among young people in the United States, people were not taking these protocols all that seriously until the NBA did what it did," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on ESPN's "The Jump" on March 18.

The NBA suspended their season all started after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.

According to TicketIQ, the NBA could lose an estimated $690 million just in ticket sales because of the pandemic. That’s not even counting the playoffs or the other money coming from TV contracts, merchandise, or sponsorships.

In total, NBA revenue topped $8 billion in 2018, and this year, lost revenue could go beyond $1 billion if the NBA can't resume play, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Also, consider the salary cap that allows teams to sign and pay players, and is directly tied to league revenue.

In the 2013-2014 season, the salary cap was $58 million. This season, it was $109 million, with the expectation it was meant to rise to $116 million next season.

The coronavirus, though, is likely to drop that number and players on the bubble to make rosters might not get signed. Players with salaries tied by percentage to the salary cap will see that lowered, as well.

Let's also not forget about the seasonal employees, like parking staff, concession-booth operators, ushers and security guards who are waiting, and hoping, for a return to normal as soon as possible.

According to ESPN, the NBA has already expanded the line of credit organizations can tap into to $1.2 billion.

This would help franchises handle their expenses for however long the suspension lasts.

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Credit: AP
A cleaning person works in the pro shop selling merchandise for both the Boston Celtics and the Bruins at TD Garden in Boston, Saturday, March, 14, 2020. The NBA and the NHL, along with most major sports and sporting events in the United States have suspended play due to concern about the new coronavirus. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

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