After this Coronavirus shutdown and the social distancing measures are lifted, I expect ticket prices for sporting events to go way down considerably in the future. The demand simply won’t be the same and more people will opt for buying upgraded big screen TVs and sound systems and watching in the safety and comfort of their own homes. Why do I feel this way? I’ll explain.
They have opened up Wuhan, China recently and their citizens are still very reluctant to go out in public to restaurants and bars. In polls in US, many Americans have said that they aren’t going to sporting events again until a vaccine is developed. That is probably a year away. Just like the Flu vaccine, many Americans won’t opt to get a vaccinated due to fear of shots or the fear of severe/deadly side effects. So these people will just limit their exposure by going to a few select events. This has prompted discussion that you may need a vaccine card, proving that you have been vaccinated for the Coronavirus, to get into a sports stadiums in the future.
The main thing that this pandemic has taught us is that Dave Ramsey’s model of having six months of savings in case of job loss (or a pandemic like this one) was sound advice. I expect more Americans, especially younger Americans, will become better savers and opt more for conservative investment products with their core savings. Don’t call this a “Rainy Day” fund, call it an “Apocalypse” fund.
Plus, hasn’t this pandemic put life in perspective and taught us that we don’t need sports as much as we thought? Although I miss live sporting events terribly, I and many other Americans, have been forced to find new hobbies and forms of entertainment.
All of this will have a trickle down effect on player salaries. The only sport that I think won’t be greatly affected by all of this is the NFL since it is a great “TV sport” with most of its revenue coming from television and radio broadcast rights. The sports that rely heavily upon gate receipts that aren’t great television sports, hello NHL, are going to most affected.
Overall, I think most pro sports leagues with salary caps will be very cautious moving forward and not try to max out their cap space with the fear of revenues from tickets sales going down.
Perhaps all of this is a good thing as the ticket prices for sporting events have gone up faster than the rate of inflation for decades and have priced out the average American. Ticket prices will have to be lowered in hopes of getting these Americans back into stadiums and arenas who could only afford seeing a few games a year.