Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NFL Players Face Lockout by Team Owners

  • In early 2008, NFL team owners opted out of the current deal two years early. The owners threatened to lock out the Players when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expired on March 4, 2010. The Players are NOT threatening to strike. The Players would play under the current deal - they are not asking for more.
  • The league generate $8 billion in revenue last year and has seen a 400 percent increase in revenues over the past decade. Each team is worth at least $1 billion dollars. The model has been beneficial to all involved in the business of the game. Since the owners opted out, the responsibility lies with them to answer one question: why doesn’t the current deal work? If the teams are losing money, the owners should share audited financial statements with the Players so that, as business partners, they can help correct the problem.
  • Thankfully, the NFL has remained strong despite the weak economy that has affected most Americans. The Green Bay Packers released limited financial information, and they generated $20 million in profits last year - not bad for a small-market team in one of the worst economic times in American history.
  • The league has successfully negotiated multi-billion dollar television deals with CBS, Direct TV, NBC and FOX, although the NFL used the struggling economy as an excuse to lay off its employees and opt-out of the current CBA. The network deals contain provisions that require the networks to pay the NFL even if the owners lock out the Players and games are not played.
  • The NFL has been granted every possible advantage from the federal government to become a successful business, including anti-trust exemptions. It also has 501c-6 non-profit status, which means the NFL pays less in taxes than average Americans.
  • A lockout impacts not only owners, players and fans, but it hurts everyone associated with the business of the game. Economists estimate that team cities will lose approximately $160 million if there is a lockout.
  • Hundreds of thousands in NFL communities will be impacted if owners lock out the Players, including:

  1. Approximately 100,000 stadium employees
  2. Hundred of thousands of municipal employees (Public Transportation such as train and bus workers, Parking Attendants, Police Officers, Radio/TV Reporters)
  3. Small business owners
  4. Retired players: Lose up to 80 percent of their benefits in an uncapped year
  5. 600 Coaches: Many of whom have already lost their pensions

The Players’ message to NFL team owners is simple: “LET US PLAY.”