Thursday December 7, 2023

Euro 2020, U.S. Sports Eye Pre-Pandemic Levels

UEFA Euro 2020/Design: Alex Brooks
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2020 was a year unlike any other, and attending a live sporting event was out of the question for fans all over the globe. As summer heats up and vaccines become the norm, the era of quiet stadiums is disappearing.

Italy, the first country to shut down entirely, is hosting the Euro 2020 tournament this week. Originally slated for March 2020, the prize money has increased by 24% from the last competition in 2016 to roughly $442.7 million. Fans are welcome with a new set of rules.

The tournament signals a sense of normalcy for sports worldwide. Major League Baseball now has 14 stadiums open at 100% capacity, with another 11 setting full-capacity dates. 

  • Forbes estimated MLB teams lost $1 billion collectively in 2020 after making a profit of $1.5 billion the year prior. Roughly 40% of the MLB’s revenue comes from ticket sales — only 60 of 162 games were played last year.
  • NBA teams will officially return to their normal 82-game schedule next season after recording a 10% drop in revenue to $8.3 billion for the 2019-2020 season.
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he expects all 32 teams to have full stadiums for the 2021 season. Teams lost almost $4 billion in revenue last season.

Japan has already spent more than $35 billion on the almost spectator-less Tokyo Olympics, but other events may be a stronger indication of what’s to come.

“I wouldn’t say it’s back to normal, but we’re certainly headed in that direction,” said Noah Garden, chief revenue officer of the MLB, on the SportsPro Podcast.

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