LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – With reports of a surge in coronavirus appearing as lockdown measures are eased, major sports leagues and their restart have been called into question. In our Money Matters segment, we spoke to financial planning advisor Josh Smith at Strategic Wealth Designers this week to examine the financial implications of a lost season. Smith said he believes some version of the season will be played but there will likely be a financial loss no matter what.
“College football brings in up to $ 4 billion in revenue annually, as recently discovered by Sports Illustrated. “For me there is no question that the season will look different from a fan perspective than anything we have seen in our lifetime, but how many fans it will allow for games is difficult to say at the moment.”
The New York Times recently quoted NCAA President Mark Emmert as saying it was very likely that the college football season could end with a shortened season before Thanksgiving. The Big Ten Purdue University has already announced that they will be finishing classes this fall before the Thanksgiving break. Smith says player safety outweighs money even if it creates severe contraction in sports programs. “As we saw with the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournament in the spring, nobody would have canceled on the 1st and if they had to, they would either cancel or try to possibly move the season into spring,” says Smith.
For Kentucky fans, the loss would be devastating to both the multitudes of sports fans across the area and the leave of absence or job loss that would result from the lack of sports. Smith remains optimistic that the games will be played. “I think a version of the season is going on. You can see players get withdrawn for 2 weeks if they test positive, but I hope a version of the season is played, maybe 50% of the fans, maybe no fans, a bunch of smart people are working on it, they’ll probably find a surefire way to get it working. From a revenue standpoint, it’s hard to imagine crowded stadiums and that will certainly lead to a loss of revenue, but hopefully some of the venues can each Week to be filled. “
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