The 2020 MLB season was unlike any other in history because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The regular season was delayed until July, and when play finally started, fans were noticeably missing from the stands.
Teams attempted to fill the void by piping in artificial crowd noise and placing cardboard cutouts in the seats. What they couldn’t avoid, however, were the inevitable financial losses ahead.
The lack of gate revenue resulted in virtually every team taking some sort of a hit this year. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, who routinely lead baseball in attendance, they were especially affected by the absence of fans.
During a recent appearance on “Evolve,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten revealed that the organization lost more than $100 million this season and will look for ways to save money until things return to normal, via CNBC Events:
“Our cash loss this year were well north of $100 million, and there’s no way to predict that. Any team is prepared to have a downturn, lose $5 million, lose $10 million. No one can be prepared for an unexpected cash loss of $100 million or more a year. We have enough strength and depth in our organization that we’re going to get through this, but it’s going to take a while to catch up.
“It won’t happen overnight, and that is going to become a part of our mantra as we look for continuing economies. We’re looking at all areas on both sides of our house; on the baseball side and the business side. I can’t tell you all the techniques we’re going to use, but we’re going to look too save money wherever we can while we are trying to dig out of this hole. Hoping that a return to normal is right around the corner, because when it does return, the customer experience — which we focused on right from Day 1 — is going to be better at Dodger Stadium than it’s ever been.”
While Kasten conceded that cuts were likely coming in some capacity, he noted they wouldn’t impact the team on the field or the Dodger Stadium experience.
Dodgers implement layoffs across organization
Facing the prospect of starting another season without being able to draw gate, the Dodgers have begun carrying out layoffs across the organization.
The club largely avoided doing so during the 2020 season by implementing a tiered scale of salary reductions. Highest-paid employees took the largest cut in pay to help offset the organization’s loss of revenue.
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