Like many sports leagues, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the NHL very hard from a financial standpoint. They’ve been hit so hard that, according to a report from Mark J. Burns and Chris Smith of Sports Business Journal, the league has borrowed approximately $1 billion, which will be divided amongst the 31 teams.
The lenders haven’t been revealed and the league hasn’t issued any statement regarding the massive loan. Each team will have access to an estimated $30 million in the event of cash-flow problems, payroll issues and other expenses. That figure makes this similar to the support plan the NBA recently put in place to financially assist basketball teams.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had already revealed that he expects the league to lose billions of dollars to operate during the 2021 season, which began in early January.
«We have made some financial arrangements that make sure our cash flow is what it needs to be, although that’s not found money, that’s debt,» Bettman said earlier this month. «Our clubs, our owners are having to write checks and so while there’s an economic consequence to playing a season, all of our owners and our clubs are in a position to weather it.»
A league-wide credit facility already exists, but, according to the report, the NHL teams that have «well-financed» owners aren’t likely to take the additional funds.