It is good to own a National Football League team, and thanks to the publicly owned Green Bay Packers, who released their finances last week, we now know exactly how good it is. For the 2014 NFL season, the Packers were handed a check of $187.7 million by the NFL as their portion of the national revenue, a figure that’s heavily boosted by the league’s television rights.
Once the Packers released their finances, sportswriters everywhere did some quick back-of-the-envelope math and found that, yes, indeed, there are 32 NFL teams and each one received an equal payout as part of the NFL’s revenue sharing program. Which means that collectively, the league was able to send more than $6 billion to its teams — should you wish to find your own envelope and corroborate, multiply 187.7 (the dollar amount) by 32 (the number of teams in the NFL), which gives you $6,006,400,000.
That is, obviously, a lot of money. Especially from an organization that loves to lock out its players and ask for public subsidies in order to renovate existing stadiums or build new ones. The total revenue, which is 4.3 percent above last year’s figure, saw growth from the league’s new television deals as well as additional money coming in from Nike, per ESPN money man Darren Rovell, who forecast an even bigger spike next season.
“The most significant jump will happen next season, as new television deals with each of the league’s partners, along with the new CBS Thursday Night package, pushes the league’s media revenue from the networks alone to an average of more than $5 billion a season,” Rovell wrote, adding that the number does not include the NFL’s DirectTV deal, which is currently having its $1 billion price tag renegotiated.
If you’re thinking to yourself that, wait a minute, the Packers are still spending more than that on their total expenses ($298 million) and maybe NFL owners aren’t all rolling in cash, we think it’s pertinent to point out that the Packers are in the midst of retooling Lambeau Field (pictured above) and that they also brought in an additional $136.3 million of local revenue in addition to the national shared revenue. Which, again, is only going to go up.
So Green Bay may have “only” nabbed $25 million in profit once the envelope is completely full of figures. Additionally, the publicly shared stocks in the Packers are common stock, which means they’re not publicly traded and don’t have resale value (per Rovell); they are basically worth the ink and paper they’re printed on, considering that the team infrequently makes them available in small batches as, essentially, fan donations to the team. You can read more about Green Bay’s stock here.