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Liga MX coronavirus suspension could cost Mexican economy $700 million each week - report

Herculez Gomez explains why Liga MX eventually decided to suspend play due to the coronavirus outbreak.

MEXICO CITY -- The suspension of the Liga MX season due to the coronavirus outbreak could mean a financial loss of around $700 million per round of matches to the Mexican economy, according to a report in El Universal.

Liga MX play continued with crowds until last Friday, and the rest of the games in week 10 on Saturday and Sunday were played behind closed doors, before the suspension of all games "until further notice" was announced on Sunday.

The financial implications will be severe in the short term.

"The league will stop earning around $700 million per round of games [for the country's economy]," Luis Ramon Carazo, professor at ITAM and expert in sports business, told El Universal. "It's calculated by each person that goes to the stadium or watches, spending $10 per round of matches, and that there are 60 million people on average watching each weekend."

Ramon indicated that the figure includes potential losses from television, sales inside and out of the stadium, tickets, travel agencies, hotels and a host of other sources. On top of that, he estimates that $100m is spent on betting on Mexican soccer each weekend, bringing the total figure to $700m.

Ramon was keen to point out that the money could be made up depending on if and when the postponed games are rescheduled, be it through double game weeks or a mini tournament to decide the Clausura champion.

An estimated 54% of GDP generated from sports in Mexico comes from soccer and 25% of GDP generated by the entertainment industry is soccer related, according to a Grupo de Economistas y Asociados report commissioned by Liga MX and published in November 2019.

Around $1.1 billion per year is spent on salaries across the almost 200,000 jobs related to Liga MX, according to the same report.

To further add to the economic impact, the Mexican national team's friendlies later this month against Czech Republic (in Charlotte, North Carolina) and Greece (in Arlington, Texas) were cancelled.

Mexico's number of confirmed coronavirus cases has jumped in recent days from 41 on Saturday to 82 by Monday, according to government figures.

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