Lakers suffer most as NBA loses estimated $694 million

Lakers forward LeBron James brings the ball up the court during a game vs. the Nuggets.

With a global pandemic, no paying fans in attendance and a dustup with China’s CCTV, the NBA admittedly suffered major financial losses this past season.

And now we know how steep those losses were.

As Bill Shea of The Athletic relayed, the NBA lost a whopping $694 million in revenue after the cancellation of 258 total regular-season games, per the sports-business research firm Team Marketing Report.

No one suffered more than than the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, who in a normal year tend to be the hottest ticket in town. Instead, no tickets were sold in LA during the NBA restart on the Disney campus.

When the NBA suspended the season in March, the Lakers still had 10 home games left on the schedule. But since they got exactly zero, they missed out on an estimated $52.7 million in fan revenue, as Shea noted.

That pretty much blows everyone else out of the water.

Second was the New York Knicks at $45 million, followed by the Golden State Warriors ($42.5 million), Houston Rockets ($35 million) and Boston Celtics ($31.5 million), respectively.

Meanwhile, teams that don’t do nearly as well in the paid attendance department lost the least.

That would be the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns (lost $11.8 million each), Charlotte Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves ($11.7 million each) and Memphis Grizzlies ($10.4 million).

“Something that jumps out as we’ve gone through these gross game day fan revenue exercises is that fan attendance is still critical to teams, even with billion-dollar media deals to cushion the blow,” TMR owner Chris Hartweg said. “If you take the NBA numbers and project across a full 41-home game season, the average NBA team hit becomes more than $110 million each. Leaguewide, we’re talking $3.3 billion.”

Commissioner Adam Silver recently estimated that gate revenue accounts for 40 percent of the league’s revenue, and while television contracts and sponsorships also account for a lot, not having people in the building obviously had a dramatic financial impact on the league.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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