Event Revenue Losses Due to Covid-19

March 15, 2021

empty stadium due to event cancellation during pandemic

Events are big business here in Florida and across the country, but the pandemic has hit them hard. Many large sporting events, big concerts and events of all kinds have been canceled, postponed or downscaled. Those who run the events and their staffs are not the only ones affected.  Industries that serve people who attend events such as hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and an array of vendors also suffer. Let’s see how organizers are coping with event revenue losses due to Covid-19.

Adaptations for Events During the Pandemic

Social Distancing

Many events have been canceled, but some event managers are taking a middle ground. Florida does not legally limit the size of events. But it does suggest guidelines keep attendees as safe as possible.

We saw this when Tampa hosted (and won!) the Super Bowl on February 7. Raymond James Stadium seats 65,618 and can be expanded to about 75,000 for special events with the addition of temporary seating. But the stadium limited seating to 25,000 fans for the Super Bowl.

Virtual Events

Some organizers are dealing with event revenue losses due to Covid-19 by holding virtual events either alone or in tandem with smaller, in-person events. Unfortunately, most who depend on events are still suffering substantial losses despite adding virtual options.

According to a recent event industry survey of business and sports event organizers, planners and incentive program professionals:

  • Only 21% have combined their in-person events with virtual events.
  • 27% intend to hold such hybrid events,
  • 25% are considering it.
  • 27% definitely do not intend to do so.

The same survey also asked what percentage of events organizers are holding online.

  • 20% are holding all their events online,
  • Over 35% are holding more than 50% of their events online,
  • 20% plan to hold less than 50% online.
  • About 18% do not plan to hold any events online,

Now, let’s look at two of the biggest event industries, concerts and sports.

US Concert Industry

The US concert industry lost $30 billion in 2020 according to trade publication Pollstar’s year-end report. Pollstar reported that

  • 2020 should have seen an all time high of $12 billion in ticket sales.
  • Instead, 2020 saw $9.7 billion in losses.
  • The $30 billion loss includes $8 billion in “unreported events, ancillary revenues, including sponsorships, ticketing, concessions, merch, transportation, restaurants, hotels, and other economic activity tied to the live events.”

A year ago, in March 2020, most musicians canceled or postponed their tours. Some performers have played drive-in concerts or held virtual concerts, but this hasn’t made much of a dent in lost revenues.

US Sports Industry

Huge Losses

The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt the sports industry long, expensive disruptions. Some sports leagues may not even recover. It’s just too soon to tell. Even World War II did not shut down live sporting events as the Covid-19 pandemic did at least for awhile.

The accounting firm PWC says that in 2020, the sports industry was projected to generate $75.7 billion. Then came the pandemic, and instead it lost a third of its value. Leagues stopped all games and eventually returned with greatly reduced schedules. Canceled and postponed games all meant losses in ticket sales, concessions, parking, sponsorship deals and TV contracts.

  • 3 million jobs were “furloughed, reduced or erased” when every sporting event was canceled from the middle of March 2020 to May.
  • Sports occupations lost $28.3 billion by the end of November.
  • As for the three major sports leagues, the NBA, NFL and MLB, they saw their sales fall by about $13 billion by the end of the year.

Rebuilding After the Pandemic

Once the world becomes more open again, the industry has its work cut out for it rebuilding their audiences after the event revenue losses due to Covid-19. The professional sports industry depends on both live games and televising those games. Each part of the business depends on the other to stimulate interest and generate sales. Going to live games excites people and encourages them to follow their teams on TV. People can go to games now in many places, but often games take place in stadiums that are far from full either because people are afraid to attend or because of social distancing guidelines.

The three major US sports all lost viewers for their finals. The World Series lost 30% of their viewers in 2020 compared with 2019, and the NBA finals suffered a 51% decrease. The Super Bowl attracted 96.4 million TV and streaming viewers, the lowest since 2007. Time will tell if these reduced viewing numbers are permanent or will bounce back quickly once the world starts to normalize.

Debt Fighters Can Help You

If you have been adversely affected financially by the pandemic, get debt collectors off your back. Contact Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters for a free consultation by submitting this form or just call us directly at (727) 538-4188 in Clearwater, (813) 225-3111 in Tampa or (352) 600-1326 in Mt. Dora.

We will analyze your situation and lay out the best options for you to move forward. Video and phone consultations as well as in-person consultations are available.



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Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters, provides effective legal services to consumers in Clearwater, Florida, and throughout the Tampa Bay area who are facing home foreclosure, unmanageable debts, debt collector harassment, or other debt-related problems.