(Newsweek)--For the six in 10 Americans who consider themselves sports fans, the COVID-19 outbreak has left them with a lot of extra time, not to mention money, on their hands. How much has the pandemic cost professional sports and related industries in terms of lost revenue, viewership and missed opportunities? Here's a sampling of what professional sports and sports fans are missing out on this year.
How much money Americans—47 million in all—intended to bet on March Madness last year
I won't lie to you. I have ZERO idea how to quantify big numbers like this, but $8.5B feels substantial. From Susan in accounting putting $20 in for an office pool to David Portnoy betting who knows, $10,000 per game, Americans are saving a collective $8.5 billion by not being able to bet on March Madness. Just March Madness. Nothing else. I'd say you can go ahead and add another 10 billion bucks when you add the Derby, big fights, NBA, and NHL playoffs, and the Masters. I don't know if that's accurate but it definitely feels true. So we are looking at an added $15 Billion added to the economy that would've been lost to b..legally placed bets in states that have legalized gambling. That's incredible. Found money with no home that can stimulate the economy. Look at what people are forced to do instead
I've literally done all of those things and I bought an exercise bike(I also had a yoga mat arrive in the mail that I have yet to take out of the box because if I open it then I have to start using it). If you combine the bike and what I spent on the playstation that is about what I would've lost during March Madness and that money would've disappeared from the universe forever. Now, I am basically fueling the economy instead of my vice. Feels really good to know I am helping the economy. Not as good as gambling feels. Not even close. There's no better rush than gambling and I don't even know how I am living without it right now. I'd do anything to have live sports and puck line action on an NHL playoff game and an empty net at one end right now, but instead I have a playstation collecting dust because I literally can't figure out how to even start a game of Call Of Duty Warzone. These are trying times, indeed.