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NFL to raise debt limits for teams amid COVID-19 pandemic

Vincent Frank
NFL, season
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL still plans on starting its 2020 season Sept. 10 with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

Regardless of whether this is even possible amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic remains to be seen. What we do know is that games will likely be played without fans in attendance, at least during the early part of the schedule.

Taking this into account and adding in the revenue hit teams would take, the NFL is set to raise the debt limit for each team by a whopping $150 million.

“NFL and club executives have agreed on a proposal to raise the debt limit for each team from $350 million to $500 million for the 2020 season,” ESPN’s Seth Wickersham reported on Tuesday.

Owners will vote on the proposal next week, but it’s expected to pass with flying colors as of right now.

It will cost teams tens of millions in local revenue if games have to be played without fans in attendance this fall. As it relates to the NFL, the expectation is that the league would lose $138 million in revenue from ticket sales on a weekly basis should games be played in empty stadiums.

The issue here remains different state-wide policies around the country. For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom has noted on multiple occasions that sporting events will be played without fans in attendance at least through the 2020 calendar year. Other states are being more liberal with their approach.

The impact in California would be two-fold in that the Rams and Chargers are set to open a brand new Southern California venue this fall. Needless to say, the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers are a hot ticket item in the northern part of the state, too.

At the very least, this proposal would give teams around the league the financial boost they need.