With each passing day, the likelihood grows that National Football League owners and players will come to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in time to not only save the season but play it in its entirety. But until all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, the possibility of Armageddon — a season wiped out by the lockout — hovers ominously.
Everyone knows a season-long lockout would be crippling not only for the NFL but also the communities that support the 32 teams. How crippling? According to a study by The Comptroller of Maryland, the state — which hosts home games for the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, the latter of whom play in suburban Landover — would lose at least $40 million in tax revenue should the entire season be lost. Every state is different, of course, but assuming each team accounts for $20 million in lost revenue, a year-long NFL lockout would result in a net loss of $640 million.
As for Maryland, according to the Comptroller, each home game lost to the lockout would cost the state $2 million. That figure would surely expand if either team made the playoffs and hosted a game. The Ravens made the playoffs each of the last three seasons but went on the road for all seven of their contests.
The Comptroller’s figures indicate the biggest loss would come from income tax — as much as $22 million lost because players and staffs of the Ravens and Redskins would not be living in Maryland and paying taxes on their salaries. Maryland would also lose as much as $12 million on “admission and amusement” taxes from tickets that would not be paid. A 10 percent “A&A” tax is remitted for all Ravens and Redskins home games.
The Comptroller study also indicated the state would lose more than $3 million in revenue from alcohol tax, income tax and sales tax because there would be far less people traveling into the state and the thousands of people who would normally spend money on game day would no longer do so.
The trickle down effect would include less business at bars and restaurants — common gathering spots for NFL games — and convenience stores, grocery stores and liquor stores, all of which are popular last-second stops for people traveling to or hosting a viewing party. The Comptroller’s study suggests those establishments would hire fewer people for the fall, since business is down, which would further impact the economy.