NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he expects the league and its teams to lose more than $1 billion this year, but emphasized the importance of playing the shortened season — which drops the puck today.
“It would be cheaper for us to shut the doors and not play,” Bettman said. “We’re coming back to play this season because we think it’s important for the game.”
Game-day income makes up approximately 50% of the NHL’s revenue, but with just 56 games on the schedule and no fans in most arenas to start, the league is making plays for extra cash.
Teams can now add sponsors to their helmets, and the league has added existing partners Scotiabank, Honda, Discover and MassMutual as sponsors of its four re-aligned divisions.
The NHL isn’t alone in its revenue shortfalls:
- After NBA revenue declined 10% last season, projections suggest losses of up to $3 billion this season.
- NFL revenue could drop by as much as $4 billion this season.
- MLS took a $1 billion revenue hit during the 2020 season.
- MLB lost up to $3 billion during its truncated 2020 season.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs should conclude by July, paving the way for the start of a normal schedule in October — potentially with full arenas.