The decision to suspend Liga MX due to the coronavirus outbreak could cost the Mexican economy $700 million per week, according to a new report. Liga MX was one of the last soccer leagues in the world to call off games. Action took place across the country last weekend, but officials were forced to abandon it due to the pandemic. “The measure will remain in place until further notice and the resumption of play will be decided in co-ordination with the federal government’s health secretariat,” said Liga MX in a statement.

A Hammer Blow

Health and safety must come first, but it will deliver a hammer blow to Mexico’s economy. “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,” said Luis Ramon Carazo, professor at ITAM. “The league will stop earning around $700 million per round of games.” He saod that the figure includes lost revenue from broadcast, tickets, merchandise, food and beverage, travel agencies and hotels.

Cruel Timing for Cruz Azul

Ramon added that $100 million is wagered on Liga MX per week in Mexico alone. The handle went through the roof when Liga MX was the only sports league running last weekend. Viewers joked that games would see more wagering activity than the Super Bowl. There is no indication right now as to when play will resume. It could be a devastating disappointment to fans of Cruz Azul. The Torneo Clausura leader was on a five-game winning streak. It beat Club América in the big Mexico City derby last weekend, and it looked perfectly capable of winning the title. Yet it might provide sweet relief for Monterrey fans. Antonio Mohamed’s men won Torneo Apertura, but they sit bottom of the Clausura championship, without a win in 10 games.