The executive director of the National Football League players union said a player lockout next season is a “near certainty,” and that it would cost the U.S. economy an estimated $5 billion in lost wages, taxes and other revenue if the entire season is canceled.
In an interview on “Political Capital With Al Hunt” airing this weekend on Bloomberg Television, union chief DeMaurice Smith said if NFL owners lock out players in order to get concessions in a labor dispute, it would be devastating to local communities as the country struggles with a 9.6 percent unemployment rate.
“The magnitude of the loss would be at the very least about $160 million to $170 million per team-city,” Smith said. “That is a conservative estimate of the economic impact.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello challenged Smith’s numbers, saying they came from union projections rather than a government agency, investment bank or noted economist.