Yet Team Owners Continue to Demand Public Money for New Stadiums
By Ken Reed
The Green Bay Packers are the NFL’s only publicly-owned franchise. As such, the Packers are required to release annual financial figures.
Of course, the other 31 franchises, all privately owned, hate this. They’d prefer that nobody knew how much revenue they are pulling in.
The Packers had $579 million in revenue last year. That was a franchise record. Almost 60 percent of that revenue, $347.3 million came from the team’s share of the league’s growing media and sponsorship contracts. The shared league revenue rose by 12.3 percent last year. Player payroll across the league was capped at $188 million. Since player payroll is each team’s biggest expense, it’s clear that the Packers — and every other NFL franchise — made a tidy profit last season.
In addition, each year, NFL teams are getting a growing revenue boost from sports gambling partnerships, as sports gambling becomes legal in more and more states.
NFL owners also benefit from the crazy appreciation of their franchises. The Denver Broncos recently sold for a league record — and an American sports franchise record — $4.65 billion.
Despite this rosy financial picture, team owners, like the Pegula family in Buffalo, continue to demand taxpayer money to build new sports palaces, in which luxury seating and other revenue streams can be boosted to even greater heights.
Once long-term maintenance costs are factored in, the public’s share of the cost of building and operating the new stadium in Buffalo will be more than $1.1 billion. The public handout will go to Terry and Kim Pegula who have a net worth of $5.8 billion.
It’s all so shameful.
Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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