As if it was planned this way, Forbes magazine released its list of The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams this week, right when the NFL lockout seems to be drawing to an end. All 32 NFL teams made the list, proving once again in resounding fashion the NFL is the most profitable professional sports league in the world. One must wonder how a $9 billion industry allowed itself to slip into its current state, jeopardizing the season succeeding the most watched year in football. Forbes is has not issued any sort of statement regarding the matter, but it is ironic the list was released at this time.
A single sports season that produces at least $9 billion is something much greater than those involved. Although there are several elements that compose the current dispute between the NFL owners and players, the one that connects them all is revenue. To put it simply, each side wants more.
The most read book in the world states “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The definition of “evil” varies between individuals and groups, but it’s clear the desire for more of it is fueling this hated debate. Both sides are forgetting the fans, who lose regardless of the outcome of this labor dispute. Many fans would be ecstatic to play for the league minimum without any benefits. If given a $1 billion sports franchise, most Americans wouldn’t be concerned with gaining more revenue. The love of money…
The NFL dominates Forbes’ recently released list. To be that far ahead of any other sports league in the world should be enough to override any sort of labor dispute. Instead, it’s causing the NFL to crumble from within. Its fan base crumbled the minute the lockout became official.
To put it simply, the NFL has no problems. As ESPN blogger Dan Graziano stated, “the lockout didn’t happen because the ‘system isn’t broken’ or the ‘owners were hurting’ or the ‘players were getting too big a share of the revenue.’ ” The owners are simply trying to get an extra buck during the time of year when their sport doesn’t get as much attention as others.
In case you’re wondering, here’s a rundown of the labor dispute:
Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, the NFL owners collected roughly 40 percent of the league’s annual revenue along with a $1 billion credit that went toward building and renovating stadiums. Originally in the negotiation for a new CBA, the owners proposed they should receive an extra $1 billion credit before they players’ 60 percent is calculated. That’s not going to happen.
According to leaked details of the new CBA, the owners will now receive 52 percent of annual league revenues, but will not get the extra $1 billion credit. However, the owners will still get their traditional credit to go specifically toward building and renovating stadiums.
Financial analysts originally predicted the owners’ proposal would eventually generate more revenue for both sides. This prediction was generated by the fact NFL team values have increased over 500 percent since 1990, yet players’ salaries haven’t changed. On top of the owners are not getting nearly everything they originally wanted, they will now be required to spend at least 90 percent of the salary cap on player salaries.
One fact commonly overlooked in the dispute is the owners’ desire to reduce current and retired players’ healthcare. Now healthcare and pension benefits for retired players will double to $18 million by 2016. Details on the healthcare for current players are not set in stone yet, but it won’t be diminished like the owners originally planned.
Let’s not even delve into free agency, which surely backfired on the owners during the CBA negotiations. The love of money…