Forbes has released some analysis of the financial numbers of the NFL over the last few years and you may not believe it, but the league is making plenty of money.According to this data, there’s no reason for a lockout. Check out some of these facts:
- The Green Bay Packers are the only team that has released their financial data (because they’re publicly held) and made $9.8 million dollars last year. That’s a huge drop from $20.1 million the year before, but a suffering economy deserves much of the blame.
- The average team earned $33 million in profit in 2009 and 19 teams were valued in excess of $1 billion.
- The amount of money rookies have received in proportion to the salary cap has actually dropped dramatically, from 6.86% in 1994, to 4.94% in 2003, to just 3.71% in 2009.
- Attendance this year dropped by less than 1% despite the economy.
- The league makes more than $4 billion in TV rights fees each year.
- Anheuser-Busch signed a six-year, $1.2 billion deal to be the Official Beer of the NFL last May.
These numbers make NFL owners look pretty greedy, after all even if the Packers experienced a profit drop last year, they still made almost $10 million. So if the players aren’t asking for more money and are willing to compromise on some issues, why is this so difficult?
The NFLPA has a lot of ammunition here. Unless more teams open their books and the league releases numbers that show how much it costs to generate its revenue and why the current model isn’t sustainable, owners won’t be getting much sympathy from anyone.
Until teams do that, the players will keep trumpeting that the league has enjoyed unprecedented success in the world of sports over the last few years and there’s no reason anything should change. Based on these one-sided numbers, it’s hard to see where they’re wrong.
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