Empty baseball stadiums for games played could result in a loss of $640,000 per game, the MLB said in a 12-page document called “The Economics of Playing Without Fans in Attendance.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers could see losses of $232 million, and the New York Mets aren’t far behind with a projected $214 million loss.
The organization told players their prorated salaries would contribute to the loss, as the major league players would end up with 89 percent of the revenue created. The prorated salaries were part of a deal completed March 26, stating that players would have one day of their pay taken out for each game that doesn’t go through.
The coronavirus pandemic closed down major league sports for the time being, with the obvious implication that people crowding into stadiums and sitting so close together would be an easy way to transmit or contract the coronavirus.
But now baseball teams are facing the prospect of how to go about reopening the season and how many games should be played. The MLB says fewer games, as they’d be losing more money if they played more games.
Players’ unions disagree, though, saying they’d lose less money with more games, due to the aforementioned March 26 agreement. And many teams and players have stakes in other adjacent properties like parking garages that would also add up to financial deficiency if fewer games were played.
The MLB is currently proposing a season with only 82 games for the rest of the year, with no fans admitted to the stadiums. The plan might face turbulence from unions, though, who are calling the prorated salaries a “salary cap in disguise.” The unions also plan to bring the issue of player safety from the coronavirus to the table during the upcoming talks.