CFP payout could drop 10-15% minus fans

FILE PHOTO: Jan 7, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock during the Clemson Tigers media day at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Playoff will go on amid the coronavirus pandemic, but COVID-19-related changes figure to damage the event’s bottom line.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock told Sportico on Friday that revenue distribution might drop by 10 percent or more from its normal range of around $500,000.

Most of the drop would be attributed to a lack of fans in the stands at the semifinal games and the championship game, with some decrease in sponsorships expected, too.

“It is premature to say for sure, but my best guess would be somewhere 10-15% less than it would have been with no pandemic,” Hancock told Sportico.

The CFP national semifinal games will be the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. The winners of those contests will face off in the national final on Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Earlier this week, Hancock dismissed requests to push back the game dates with numerous teams’ regular-season schedules getting disrupted due to the pandemic. Last week, 15 Football Bowl Subdivision games were canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, and this week’s total was up to 17 as of Friday.

Hancock also reaffirmed this week that the committee would not name a substitute team if either announced semifinalist winds up being ruled out of action ahead of Jan. 1 due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The semifinalists are due to be announced on Dec. 20.

–Field Level Media