NBA could lose nearly $1 billion in ticket revenue during 2020 playoffs

Apr 27, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A general view of the NBA logo and the playoffs scorer table before game six between the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NBA Playoffs got going Monday afternoon at Walt Disney World in Florida. While the action was awesome for the most part, the backdrop was also pretty strange.

As you already know, games played within the Orlando bubble do not have fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA has done what it can to create a fun environment, but nothing will replicate tens of thousands of partisans rooting on their home teams.

We’ve also noted several times in the past the economic fall out that will ultimately come with the NBA being forced to play inside empty venues. That will be taken to a whole new level once the 2020 playoffs come to a conclusion.

NBA expected to lose nearly $1 billion in playoff ticket revenue

According to Ticket IQ, the numbers are absolutely staggering. Based on the average ticket cost for NBA Playoff games last season, this is how the lost ticket revenue looks per round.

  • Conference quarterfinals: $308.3 million
  • Conference semifinals: $179.3 million
  • Conference finals: $198.7 million
  • NBA Finals: $311.2 million

Now, this estimation is assuming each series goes the distance. That’s not going to happen. Even then, it’s just a crazy amount of money. That’s especially true when it comes to the NBA Finals this coming fall.

It was noted before that the NBA itself could lose another $1 billion in revenue if the season was unable to resume in Orlando. Given how well the bubble has worked, there’s no reason to believe the season won’t be able to be completed.

As for the 2020-21 campaign, the NBA is considering multiple options. They are looking at starting the season in December with four cities hosting bubbles, including Orlando and Las Vegas.

The powers that be are also looking at the possibility of pushing the start of the season back until mid-January (at the earliest) if it means teams being able to play at their home venues with fans in attendance.