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League launches effort to get players to focus on dollars, not percentages

NFL And Players Continue Court Ordered Mediation Getty Images

We’ve long believed that the current labor dispute arises fundamentally from an insistence by the NFLPA* to continue to receive 50 cents of every dollar that passes through the cash register, and from a refusal by the owners to continue to provide that percentage.  And so the NFL finally seems to be pushing a dollars-over-decimals message to the players.

“When you’re doing your budget and paying your bills and things like that, you’re not looking at a percentage, you’re looking at how many dollars you have in your checking account,” NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday.  “If we can continue to have the kind of growth that we’ve had over the last 10 or 15 years, if we can do that going forward, which I totally believe we can do, there’s no question but that every player in the league will have rising income, rising salary, rising benefits.”

Of course, if the players are getting less than 50 percent of the increasing revenues, it means that the owners will be getting more.  But as one management-side source recently explained it to us, the league believes that much has changed since a 50-50 split worked for everybody.

“Not long ago every team in the league had a stadium paid for with public money,” the source said.  “Now teams have huge stadium debt.  Not long ago most if not all teams had stadiums whose operating expenses were paid for by the public.  Now almost all have huge operating expense bills.  Not long ago we had revenues we could raise without incurring much cost, i.e., tickets prices.  Most teams are now at a point where tickets prices don’t have much room and generating revenues if you can even can do it, has a lot of cost.  So 50 percent worked when the owners didn’t have these kinds of costs but that reality has changed and is likely to keep getting more challenging from here.”

And here’s the other reality to which the league is now aggressively pointing.  The players receive 50 percent, and it’s basically profit (after taxes, which of course the owners pay on their pay and profit, too). The owners receive 50 percent and from it they pay all other costs associated with running a football team.  As these other costs grow, the amount that represents profit shrinks, in time dramatically.

“There are real reasons that aren’t greed,” the source said.  “The business model has changed. They can make more money than they make even today but there are real credible reasons why the percentage can’t and frankly will not be the same.  If we can’t get De Smith to understand or recognize this, I don’t know how this will end.”

Of course, one way to get Smith to “recognize this” would be to open the books and prove to the players that the trend is real.

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79 Responses to “League launches effort to get players to focus on dollars, not percentages”
  1. capslockkey says: May 19, 2011 9:22 PM

    I’m sorry, but logic, reason, and the understanding of business modelling doesn’t compute with DeBag Smith. The only thing he knows is grandstanding, emotion, finger pointing and cliches. Oh and lots of suing.

  2. billsfan1 says: May 19, 2011 9:26 PM

    At what point does this website stop pretending the smith isnt out to make a name for himself first and foremost… isn’t this a case where u would want someone who has been in their shoes?

  3. nahcouldntbethat says: May 19, 2011 9:28 PM

    The owners cannot open the books. Doing that leads directly to socialism/marxism/dictatorship/hell.

  4. tdman21 says: May 19, 2011 9:30 PM

    crucial line: “Not long ago every team in the league had a stadium paid for with public money,” the source said. “Now teams have huge stadium debt. Not long ago most if not all teams had stadiums whose operating expenses were paid for by the public.”

    So basically, in the past, they were able to socialize the costs, but privatize the gains. Since the general public is no longer willing to subsidize their private enterprise, now the players have to take a paycut in order to allow the owners to continue having someone else pay their private bills.

    Because ordinary taxpayers were paying the bills for these billionaire owners, football teams were more profitable. Since less teams have “a stadium paid for with public money,” owners are now insistent on making players pay their expenses.

    It is fantastic how owners want everybody else to pay their stadium bills except the owners themselves.

    Socialism for the rich! Capitalism for the rest of us. What a great deal

  5. footballfanatic3431 says: May 19, 2011 9:32 PM

    “Of course, one way to get Smith to “recognize this” would be to open the books and prove to the players that the trend is real.”

    You couldn’t write 1 article without throwing in some pro-player b.s.

  6. TxGrown says: May 19, 2011 9:36 PM

    I understand that costs grow. I go to a couple of games every year. It used to be more.

  7. dirtytaco says: May 19, 2011 9:39 PM

    The owners are not at fault. The greedy players are getting paid for playing a game there suppost to love. Make a fukin deal already

  8. bravin4evr says: May 19, 2011 9:39 PM

    This article is right. The costs of running a team has increased dramatically. OWNERS open the books so the players can see. Then, PLAYERS give back so the owners can retain an equitable amount and let’s have football.

  9. kom2k10 says: May 19, 2011 9:41 PM

    These guys own the teams to make money… If the current deal doesn’t allow them to make money, then they need to do whatever they need to so that they can start making money (including exorcising their collectively bargained right to opt-out of their bad deal).

    All DeBag Smith keeps talking about is suing the NFL, which will lead to more attorney fee’s and settlements from the owners, which leads to higher ticket prices to the fans to pay off all the extra expenses they’ve just incurred from ridiculous lawsuits.

    If the players win, cost to the fans can sky rocket, big market teams can “buy championships” while small market teams will be managed like the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball… just doing enough to stay profitable…

    If the owners win, cost can be controlled and the NFL as we know it will be preserved.

  10. rpaskey says: May 19, 2011 9:43 PM

    Hey, if the owners are supposed to pony up 50% of every revenue dollar, why dont the players have to pony up all of their commercial, shoe, and other revenue (that only exists because of their football fame) to be sent into the league and shared equally between the teams and players?

    How about the costs of the owners to run the teams, plus the initial investment to purchase the team, versus their actual proffit margin? If they put up lets say 100,000,000.00 plus payments to a bank for the rest of the loan and they receive 10% of their 50% share……

    Versus the players who lets say have about 200,000.00 to 300,000.00 in legitimate business related expenses having to do with being a football player and they then make just 2,000,000.00 a year.

    Who is raking in the obscene profit percentage?

    The 24 year old? or the 50+ year old owner?

    This whole arguement is just silly.

  11. nflfan101 says: May 19, 2011 9:43 PM

    PFT said: “Of course, one way to get Smith to “recognize this” would be to open the books and prove to the players that the trend is real.”
    ——————————–

    You know and we know that opening the books will never work or solve anything. First, D. Smith would not believe them. Second, D. Smith would second guess every dollar amount and say that certain expenditures were not necessary. Third, by allowing D. Smith to say what is or is not a business expense, you are really turning the teams over to the players to say how the teams should be run. Fourth, I believe that D. Smith can look at the Packers financials and it doesn’t affect his faulty thought process. Fifth, didn’t the owners offer some collective financial info that could be audited and D. Smith turned them down. Finally, it would not prove anything. Owners might think that they should make x% in profit and players might think that owners should make x-y% profit and then they would argue over the % profit.

    The best thing is to negotiate. From what I have seen, the owners are not trying to screw the players. Why can’t they swap lower total player payout for less or no restrictive agency?

    There can be a compromise by both sides, but they have to negotiate first.

    FACT: D. Smith walked out of CBA negotiations, decertified the union, had certain players file suit, and then did not attend at least one court ordered mediation session.

    Fans, players, and PFT employees that really want football need to tell D. Smith to get his butt into negotiations.

  12. mcnast731 says: May 19, 2011 9:44 PM

    I think it is insulting for the NFL to try shift the argument to dollars opposed to percentage.

    If that’s the case, than the owners wouldn’t mind taking some dollars off the top and splitting a percentage with the players. Sure, it would sound great that the players get $3.5-5 billion. Sounds like a lot of money. But when you are splitting a constantly growing revenue starting at $8 billion, you are just throwing salt on the players and pretty much just trying to get over one them. It’s like buying stock at $100, company will give you $120 in 1 year guaranteed but that company made $200 off of your $100, 80% more than what they thought they were gonna make and they pocket it.

    The NFL is basically calling the players stupid like they don’t know the difference between a set dollar amount and a growing percentage.

  13. gt76 says: May 19, 2011 9:45 PM

    tdman, if you would actually take the time to read and follow the proposed deals offered, you would understand that the players would not be taking a pay cut. The overall total player compensation would not increase as fast.

    I have been reading all these comments and find it funny how people jump to conclusions and get the facts wrong.

  14. endzonezombie says: May 19, 2011 9:47 PM

    The players 50% is all profit? The players pay a significant amount of their compensation toward federal ,state, and local taxes. They can’t cloak their compensation as an expense and tax deduction – as owners do. Owners and their tax attorneys / accountants have sophisticated strategies for maximizing tax sheltered or tax free income. It’s foolish to even present this argument.

  15. commandercornpone says: May 19, 2011 9:50 PM

    might look like a pretty good offer to a bunch of guys who are taking out half a mil $ loans at 23%.

    i applaud the owners’ strategy.

  16. commoncents says: May 19, 2011 9:50 PM

    Players get paid well to play, then have a lifetime safety net as well. Operating costs have gone up owning a house and I am sure it has for everyone. I disagree with the players getting 50%.

  17. jimphin says: May 19, 2011 9:51 PM

    It’s time for the NFLPA to start paying for and managing some of the player costs….

    H ealth Care / Retirment
    A gents
    T raining bonuses

    The plus 200 million dollar NFLPA annaul budget should go to the players and not De Smiths hat collection.

  18. billsfan1 says: May 19, 2011 9:51 PM

    If smith had the players best interest at heart he would have locked himself in the room and not left til real progress was made…he would make an awful hostage negotiator….its not the owners saying poor me, its the players saying ” we just wanna play football”..owners have conceded things they wanted, players not so much. If this was an agent and an individual player, he would have fired the agent and found someone to make it happen..just remove smith and make it happen

  19. disapointeddallasfan says: May 19, 2011 9:52 PM

    I have never once sided with or trusted anything the owners had to say leading up to and since the lock out.
    Rarely (sometimes though) have i agreed with or trusted most of what has come out of the players propaganda machine.

    The above quotes though from the league’s ambulance chaser were easily the most sensible and rational thing I have heard from either side as it pertains to the dollars being fought over.

    The league needs to continue beating that same drum to the fans and players.

    Regardless of whose side u are on, if the league can prove the above by opening the books, how do the players rationally tell the to pound sand?

  20. lostsok says: May 19, 2011 9:53 PM

    “The owners cannot open the books. Doing that leads directly to socialism/marxism/dictatorship/hell.”

    It would probably be amusing seeing the explanation for such a pithy yet nauseatingly empty statement. Basically, if the owners either prove they would suffer under a percentage split…or own up to just how much money they actually make…would be the same as living in an economic system where all production is owned by The State.

    Uh, what?

    Transparency equals socialism?

    That’s the message???

    Epic fail.

  21. jbcommonsense says: May 19, 2011 9:53 PM

    Yes, these brilliant businessmen, the owners, can only run a very simple business profitably with huge public subsidies or whacking the salaries of their key employees, the players.

  22. cscfriarbob says: May 19, 2011 9:55 PM

    You know, the owners really have had some good points all along. This point is actually good one too… but it’s too late. You should have been saying the six months ago. Not now. Now it’s too late. Now the players hate your guts and won’t believe a word you say.

    Maybe they said this in the negotiations and the players just didn’t believe them. I suppose that’s possible. But if so, then that’s outright proof DeMoron is a walking sack of stupid.

    And if not, shame on the NFL for failing to make this point much sooner.

  23. darrkkomens says: May 19, 2011 9:56 PM

    The Owners are full of B.S they already get 1Billion off the top and from that they pay all of their cost associate with running a football team and then they get 50% of the revenue…

    of course they wouldn’t mention that.. They care even less about the fans then they do about the players that generate the money…

    All they want from us fans is to pay for their stadiums, personal seat license, tickets, concessions, NFL Gear, and give them TV ratings oh and to Brain wash us on their agenda to have more houses bigger mansions, and Rich goodies while us the small man, who bust our butts to make a dollar to sit by shut up, and wait until they feel like giving us football again..

    They have no care about for us fans, we’re just dollars signs and they obviously think we’re fools because they keep trying to sell us their BULL when we’re not trying to hear what they are saying.. We need our Entertainment to take our minds off each day of stress and Bills.. We Need our FOOTBALL!! to take our minds off a long week of hard work..

    GIVE US OUR FOOTBALL!!!!!

  24. cappa662 says: May 19, 2011 9:56 PM

    Insulting. Hold out players.

  25. theytukrjobs says: May 19, 2011 9:58 PM

    I do agree with one thing is that paying employees a percentage of revenue is a stupid idea. Bonuses based on gains are one thing, but to just say you’ll pay them 50 percent of gross revenue regardless of what the operating expenditures are is retarded as all get out.

    But if they want the players to take a cut then they have to prove it to them that it is necessary.

  26. siggy00 says: May 19, 2011 9:58 PM

    It will end when the players don’t “dig” missing paychecks and they send DeMoron on his way.

  27. skins359 says: May 19, 2011 10:00 PM

    What stadium debt? Didn’t the Bidwells in Arizona pay $9 million for a state of the art stadium after the city and the University of Phoenix covered most of the tab?

    I swear everytime I hear these owners complaining about the cost of building stadiums I get confused because most of the time I hear about how much financing the tax payers are taking on in these cities.

  28. eagleswin says: May 19, 2011 10:05 PM

    Since the general public is no longer willing to subsidize their private enterprise, now the players have to take a paycut in order to allow the owners to continue having someone else pay their private bills.

    ——————————–

    Rant all you want about the public paying for new stadiums in the past but the players aren’t taking a paycut, nor are they “paying” the owners anything.

  29. rcali says: May 19, 2011 10:08 PM

    So Pash is basically what a lot of fans and city governments are saying….the wells have been sucked dry. Eventually player salaries, I mean “slave” salaries and owner profits had to hit a peak.

  30. FinFan68 says: May 19, 2011 10:15 PM

    Again with the open the books garbage? The players would still make more money than they do now; just at a slower growth rate and they could also gain concessions in other key areas not covered in the umbrella of monetary compensation (less practice time/OTAs, better health coverage, etc.). They only have a problem when they compare their compensation with the owners’ revenue. If a person gets paid $XX for what they do it should be judged on its stand-alone merit. If that amount is good, then it is still good if the owners make less or more. Why does it matter what the owners make from their business venture? The issue is simply are the players collectively receiving fair compensation for what they do? That doesn’t change. I don’t think they should make less collectively but basing their compensation on gross revenues is absurd. The owners brought the angst on themselves by agreeing to that in the first place. They are trying to correct that mistake now. It is not a pay cut if the players get a 5% increase. They just say it is a pay cut because they believe they are entitled to a 10% increase based on revenues. (the percentages are an example, not necessarily the factual numbers) Both sides have said the players would make more money than previous years. Smith argues that it is a horrible deal because of “projected growth” and he equates the difference as “writing the league a check” (in hypothetical money. How is getting a raise viewed as a horrible deal? It doesn’t make sense. I would not support the owners position if they actually expected the players to make less money than previous years. That is not happening, regardless of what the rhetoric coming from the lawyers is.

  31. theembalmed says: May 19, 2011 10:18 PM

    Here is the point that Dedumbass and the players need to realize….

    “And here’s the other reality to which the league is now aggressively pointing. The players receive 50 percent, and it’s basically profit. The owners receive 50 percent and from it they pay all other costs associated with running a football team. As these other costs grow, the amount that represents profit shrinks, in time dramatically.”

    The point is, THE PLAYERS ARE AN EXPENSE NOT A PARTNER!!
    They dont deserve 50 percent, they dont deserve benefits, they dont deserve anything but what the owners give them.
    The NFL is a buisness and the players are employees. As soon as players start paying for stadiums, front office personnel, scouting departments, and the like then they can bitch about their share.
    The players are just another expendature that the owners pay for and its high time they realize that they dont DESERVE anything but a paycheck for the JOB they do. If they dont like that then they can go bag groceries instead of making millions.

  32. eagleswin says: May 19, 2011 10:20 PM

    Of course, one way to get Smith to “recognize this” would be to open the books and prove to the players that the trend is real.

    ————————-

    DeMaurice refused to look at financials auditted by a mutually agreed third party or did you forget?

    “We did offer to release five years of individual club-by-club financial documents to a mutually acceptable third party to review, analyze and report on those documents,” Pash said. “We also offered to give the union aggregate profit data for the 32 clubs as a whole so they could see how the profitability has changed over the years. We offered substantial financial disclosures and the union chose not to take it.”

    Let’s see how opening the books has worked for the NBA (from an article in the LATimes)

    Stern insists the glow hides a broken economic model, projecting a $370-million loss — this season — and offering owners’ tax returns to prove it, quipping in one of his asides on a conference call:

    “That’s our story and we’re sticking with it.”

    Hunter called the figures “baloney,” noting they include hundreds of millions in depreciation and interest.

    “I wouldn’t use the word again, but the things they’re asking for are nonstarters,” Hunter said.

    The owners were offering tax returns but the players don’t want things like depreciation and interest to count as expenses. Why would anyone expect the NFLPA to be more reasonable when it comes to understanding and using common accounting principles?

  33. msclemons67 says: May 19, 2011 10:33 PM

    Regardless of whose side u are on, if the league can prove the above by opening the books, how do the players rationally tell the to pound sand?

    The NBA opened it’s books and proved massive losses. The NBA players said “so what?” I don’t think the NFL players will react any differently.

    “Show the books” is a nice slogan but it is meaningless.

  34. azbroncos says: May 19, 2011 10:42 PM

    @tdman21 “So basically, in the past, they were able to socialize the costs, but privatize the gains. Since the general public is no longer willing to subsidize their private enterprise, now the players have to take a paycut in order to allow the owners to continue having someone else pay their private bills.

    Because ordinary taxpayers were paying the bills for these billionaire owners, football teams were more profitable. Since less teams have “a stadium paid for with public money,” owners are now insistent on making players pay their expenses.

    It is fantastic how owners want everybody else to pay their stadium bills except the owners themselves.”

    I guess you don’t factor in the economic impact a team has on their community??? How much money that organization just being there brings in ??? Yes the public foots some bills for stadiums etc. But it is worth it in the long run for the community. Do players bring that to the table?? THEY ARE NOT PARTNERS!!!!! THEY ARE EMPLOYEES!!!!

  35. hail2tharedskins says: May 19, 2011 10:44 PM

    darrkkomens,

    You said the owners get $1billion of the top and they pay all expenses associated with running a football team with that.

    Now my question for you is do you simply not understand how much it costs to run a football team in the NFL or did you just simply not bother to figure out that $1bil translates to less than $32mln per team?

    Either way makes you look really foolish for making that statement.

  36. veraky says: May 19, 2011 10:52 PM

    It’s funny to see people here complaining about nfl players taking paycuts, I am curious if you’ve also given your vocal support to are teachers, police and other public servants who have faced and continue to face REAL paycuts, layoffs, reduced benefits, etc. Oh that’s right, they don’t play football so you don’t give a crap. Does Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and all the other high income players, the ones that have truly benefitted from the current percentage share, really need more pay increases? Now if the NFLPA* was talking about the need to raise league minimums or setting aside more money for retired players who are facing huge medical expenses I might actually support their cause.

  37. jwnugteren says: May 19, 2011 10:52 PM

    The players should only concede to a graduated flat rate unless it would equate to a greater than or equal to 50% of current revenues. And IMO the owners would not accept any proposal with that condition. Only with the players taking the larger “slice of the pie” now, would the owners be properly incentivized to improve their operation to regain the larger slice of the pie later. The American sports league model is devoid of a system of demotion and promotion to provide real consequences for incompetent management, quite to opposite the draft and revenue sharing keeps propping up zombie franchises that would be run out of nearly any other business.

  38. johnnyoclock says: May 19, 2011 10:57 PM

    Another thing you have to remember about opening the books.

    No matter what you show them, they will never, ever, say… Ohhhhh ok, now I get it. Ok great, thanks. Sorry.

    WRONG.

    Whatever you show them, they will simply turn around and say it’s a lie. It’s a fake. There’s some phony conspiracy. They didn’t give us what we asked for so it’s a sham. These books are cooked. Whatever you show them, they will still complain it’s fake.

    That’s what happens when you ridiculously declare this is a war. This is how they have behaved, and opening the books will not change their behavior.

  39. purpleronin says: May 19, 2011 11:01 PM

    The NFL will NEVER open the books in the way that De Smith is requesting. They offered to do it in the only way it was ever going to happen – by 3rd party auditor. The NFL knows better than to ever let De Smith get his greedy little lawyer fingers on the trade secrets and the finincial details of there business model. Besides i’m sure they know there’s no way it would change his mind, otherwise why would he ask for it in the first place? Thats just horsetrading 101. I’ll put it this way: Would Microsoft do this for their employees? or Google, Sony, Boeing, GE? Never happen..besides, coming from a self serving publicity hound like De Smith it might be a little like China asking the U.S. military to ‘open its books’ and show how they make our stealth planes so invisible!

  40. thefiesty1 says: May 19, 2011 11:10 PM

    You can confuse almost anyone quoting percentages and show ambiguous charts and graphs. The stupid players need to see actual $$$. Then they might see the sense in the owners offer. The lawyers are especially gullible when quoting %, etc. The only thing they all understand is cold hard cash. Stop talking in % and start talking CASH.

  41. 1liondriven says: May 19, 2011 11:16 PM

    This league is a complete joke.

  42. certtified49er says: May 19, 2011 11:22 PM

    I understand both sides arguments. The owners made a serious mistake when they elected to play games with negotiations 2 years prior because now its the players turn. I agree this has all become so stupid at this point and time. Everyone will lose more then they gain from this. The owners need to stop making the same offers and the NFLPA needs to get over the 50/50 previous CBA deal. Its time for everyone to sacrifice for the love of the game. “BEFORE ITS REALLY GAME OVER”

  43. winskins says: May 19, 2011 11:29 PM

    OH, don’t look here, look THERE, said the high priced hired gun.

    Anybody who has any knowledge of accounting knows how easy it is to hide money if you want to. All this whining about the cost of doing business is just smoke and mirrors. The owners are HIDING something big. Otherwise, why would they spend all the money on the high priced courtroom talent?

    We are the suckas in this. Where did all the money go in the mortgage collapse? Who knows. But you and I are going to pay for it. Where is all the revenue from the NFL going? Who knows. But… you get the picture.

  44. backuppunter says: May 19, 2011 11:40 PM

    i think that since i have a crappy job and am poor the players should be willing to play for less money. on the other hand the owners should get to make as much money as they possibly can because that is capitalism. wait that really doesn’t make sense.

    actually i have no idea how much money the owners and the nfl are losing. maybe they really are starting to lose money but maybe they are just thinking about all the money they could be making now if a players salaries hadn’t gone up so much in the last 15 years. it’s not like the owners could just stick gerbils wearing football jersys out there and we would watch it(i would watch it but some of my friends wouldnt). players represent the very top of athletic ability. they are incredibly rare, and profesional sports would be totally worthless without top notch rare athletes that play them.

    look the thing is i am really just a lame minded football fan. and i don’t have enough knowledge of finance/business/law, or any inside information as to how to decide who to side with. and i’m pretty sure that is true of 99 percent of the general public.

    so there are three things i am sick of. the statements from the players and the owners that have little or no factual content and are just made to win public sympathy, and the statements from the general public on this web site trying to pretend like they have any idea what is going on.

    why shouldn’t the players be worth 50%? i mean really i have no idea. one way or the other. i might have some idea if i saw the books. but why should someone like me be allowed to see the books. why is the nfl allowed to operate the way it does. anyone talking about the nfl like it’s just some normal kind of business that doesn’t get any special perks should really look into that. i mean this is not a simple labour vs. big business fight where we all just mindlessly plug in our political party into the box.

    i think in this case it’s ok to be for the players even if you are a conservative. and it’s ok to be on the owner’s side if you are liberal. it’s also ok to admit that you really aren’t smart enough, and or don’t have enough information to be able to decide who is right and who is wrong.

    what i know is that over the last 15 years or whatever the nfl has been awsome. fun to watch and competative. i hope they don’t screw that up.

  45. computerguru666 says: May 19, 2011 11:51 PM

    The players want to see the owner’s books to make sure they aren’t wasting money… that’s fair; as long as all of the players bring their own financial records for the owners to peruse and make sure the players aren’t wasting money.

  46. bronco1st says: May 20, 2011 12:05 AM

    the source said;

    “Not long ago every team in the league had a stadium paid for with public money,” the source said. “Now teams have huge stadium debt. Not long ago most if not all teams had stadiums whose operating expenses were paid for by the public. Now almost all have huge operating expense bills.”

    What a joke! No wonder “The Source” doesn’t want his/her name attributed to such a blatant LIE! At this very moment the Vikings are fleecing the citizens of the state of Minnesota to fork over up two thirds of the new stadium costs. The remaining third, you know, the third the owner is supposed to come up with? Well it turns out that part of the CBA profit sharing plan involves the creation of a “stadium fund” that all 32 teams pay into from funds that are excluded from the total revenue pie before it is split. Yep, money off the top so to speak.

    Each team who wants to build a new stadium and can sucker, oops I mean, persuade the voters to pay for the majority of it, then those teams become eligible for up to $400 million out of the stadium fund to help pay for the team owner’s portion of the cost. Not only that, they are given $40 million (by the League) as “seed money” to help pay for the cost of “persuading” the voters to accept footing the bill to begin with.

    Sweet deal huh? Be nice if we could all buy a franchise, have the taxpayers pay for most of the cost of the building, then have the franchisers give you a good portion of the remaining amount. It would be like (on a smaller scale) you get a brand new $100,000 building except the taxpayers pay for $67,000 of it, the franchiser puts up another $30,000 and your share is only $3,000. To top it off, many of those stadiums have taxing authorities that cover a large part of yearly operating and maintenance costs.

    Speaking of which, a little known fact, many of those extravagant stadium upkeep costs that the owners complain about, you know, groundskeeper, building maintenance, cleaning, painting, renovation, repairs, etc., etc., are performed by maintenance and management companies. Admittedly, they do charge outrageous sums for their services – but here’s the kicker, the team owners, (that’s right, like Jones, Kraft, Snyder and the rest), guess what? They own those companies as well. That’s right, they form separate companies to perform those duties and then hire those companies, pay them extravagantly and write it off as a “cost” of doing business.

    And it’s not just for the stadium maintenance, the same goes for the other service jobs, like the cleanup crews, security crews, service crews like waitresses, bartenders and caterers for the luxury boxes, ticket sales and ticket gate crews, stadium vending and parking crews, and many other jobs are all done through employee management companies, who are paid handsomely to provide those workers and again owned by…yep, you guessed it, the team owners.

    Guess what else? All other events that are put on in those stadiums from rock concerts and rodeos to big wheel smash-em-ups or evangelist revivals, all that money goes to the owners, none to the tax bonding authority to pay down the voter expenditure.

    Parking fees as well for games and events wind up in the owner’s pocket as well. Ya, all those guys and gals selling and taking parking tickets, directing traffic into and out of the lots, the tow trucks and the parking lot security are all part of a company paid well to perform those duties on event days…yeah, the team owners own those companies too.

    And yep, those event promoters/sponsors must use those same maintenance and service companies that the team owners own, to do the setup, services and cleanup after the event, including ticket sales. The owners will even help you out in advertising your event through their advertising companies, for a small fee of course. Many team owners even own part or all of the local media, radio, TV and newspaper.

    Now you know why the owners don’t want to open their books to reveal where the money goes, how much and to whom. Much of the money is claimed as non-eligible as far as the money that they must report as earnings to be “split” with the players. Only gate receipts, certain NFL merchandise and originally defined (by the CBA) TV revenues count in the split. Some new merchandise and TV revenues like NFL TV, RedZone, NFL.com, Sunday Ticket and others, don’t fall into the eligible revenue streams to be “split” with the players.

    What’s more, certain gate sales are not considered part of the revenue split. Only general gate receipts count towards that, Luxury Boxes and Sport Seating are exempted revenues. Is it any surprise that every owner wants new stadiums with more luxury boxes, sport seating and less general gate seating? That’s free money, exempt from CBA consideration.

    When owners are able to inflate costs, then squeeze large profits out of those costs made to subsidiary companies that they own, is it no wonder they don’t want the players or the public/fans to see the figures in their accounting?

    Hey, I could care less if the players get that money. Most of them are overpaid anyhow (again the fault of the owners for paying those $100M “star” salaries). But don’t pee down my leg and tell me it’s raining. I mean,who’s really getting boinked here? Isn’t it the fans who foot the bill for the whole fiasco?

    If fans are dumb enough to swallow the propaganda put out by the owners, then guess what? In a few years when the money squeezed from the players starts to run thin, and the owners greedy palms start to itch again, be prepared for another decade of high rising ticket prices, outrageous merchandise, parking and food costs and and end to free NFL games over the networks. Pay-per-view is the only way the middle class will see the games and the low income? They can go watch the UFL, CFL or arena ball or pound sand.

  47. leib15 says: May 20, 2011 12:21 AM

    That last sentence didn’t go unnoticed. Once again a rational, logical argument on behalf of the NFL ownership, and the author insisted on adding in a cheap shot at the end. The NFLPA is using “opening the books” as a smokescreen to avoid any logical debate, and garner support from unassuming fans. Even if/when the owners open the books, the NFLPA will complain it’s the wrong books or not revealing enough. DeMaurice needs to stop deflecting and start mediating. The NFLPA thought they were hiring a fighter and master litigator, instead they got a stubborn phony. I’ll end with this; the owners greed is why the NFL exists, the players greed is why the NFL will cease to exist.

  48. 2009kenny says: May 20, 2011 12:27 AM

    It beats me how anyone who has heard De Smith speak during this period actually thinks it will serve any progressive purpose to show him the books. He will simply substitute the phrase ” this is war with; you shouldn’t be making that expense”. If I were an owner, I would never open my books. For goodness sake, Jerry Jones doesn’t see Dan Snyder’s books. Why should the players? Have the owners been let manage Dez Bryant books

  49. clownburger says: May 20, 2011 12:53 AM

    Uh, the League DID offer to open the books. Remember? 5 years with a neutral party overseeing it?

    The players….as usual…said no.

    How convenient that PFT forgets that FACT.

    C’mon players, enough of the stalling!

    NEGOTIATE WITH THE NFL ALREADY!!!!

  50. marjones45 says: May 20, 2011 1:05 AM

    azbroncos says:
    May 19, 2011 10:42 PM
    THEY ARE NOT PARTNERS!!!!! THEY ARE EMPLOYEES!!!!

    theembalmed says:
    May 19, 2011 10:18 PM
    The players are just another expendature that the owners pay for and its high time they realize that they dont DESERVE anything but a paycheck for the JOB they do. If they dont like that then they can go bag groceries instead of making millions.

    I could not agree more. They are employees. If you really believe that then you should be willing to treat them like employees. No draft, no salary cap, no free agency, no owning a players rights. PERIOD. Let them get a job anywhere they want, just like everybody else. That is the American way.

  51. footballfan292 says: May 20, 2011 2:25 AM

    Funny… the owners want the players to think of it in dollars. But they want their own share of the money to be thought of in percentages.

    Its amazing how utterly insulting these people really are.

  52. knightazure says: May 20, 2011 4:58 AM

    hail2tharedskins says: May 19, 2011 10:44 PM

    darrkkomens,

    You said the owners get $1billion of the top and they pay all expenses associated with running a football team with that.

    Now my question for you is do you simply not understand how much it costs to run a football team in the NFL or did you just simply not bother to figure out that $1bil translates to less than $32mln per team?

    Either way makes you look really foolish for making that statement.

    —–

    Also, the owners don’t get 50% of the revenue after the $1billion off the top, they get about 40%, the players get nearly 60%. The reason this “50%” number is used a lot, is that with $9b total revenues, the total split is about 50% (the players get about 60% of $8b, or about $4.7b).

    Wasn’t this one of the offers the owners made? ~50% of all revenues to the players, with none taken off the top? It would give about the same amount to the players as they get now, but instead of getting 60 cents on every dollar above the current level of revenue, they’d only get 50 cents. Going from some of the comments here (i.e. that the players aren’t being offered a pay cut), I think that’s probably the case. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  53. MichaelEdits says: May 20, 2011 6:40 AM

    The dollar’s going down the toilet. Focus on the euro.

  54. karlpilkington says: May 20, 2011 8:05 AM

    Is it just me or do other people find it annoying when someone has to write a friggin book when they comment on a story. Stop trying to make it all about you and put your thoughts into a couple of sentences.

  55. CKL says: May 20, 2011 8:08 AM

    As one poser has pointed out (Realitypolice maybe) the players are more of independent contractors. So were I the NFL negotiating team, I would focus on the other costs associated with them that the owners pay such as health insurance , tuition reimbursement, the drunken rides free program, etc. Anyone who has worked in HR knows that salary is not the true cost of an employee, true cost is always much higher. So then say the owners find that the benefits they provide the players equal another 5-7%% of their revenue. I would consider offering the players 55% (or whatever 50% plus the supported by data cost of the player benefits ) after the 1 bill with no extra 1 bill like they’re asking for now and saying you can now be true independent contractors…NO benefits. We sign you to max 4 year deals then you are FA.

  56. CKL says: May 20, 2011 8:11 AM

    Ooops RP didn’t mean to call you a “poser”…accidentally left the “T” out.
    Owners should definitely make sure the NFLPA* side gets how much the benefits cost either way. And they would probably like not having to figure taxes on all those checks of they make the players 1099 status.

  57. alphacroon says: May 20, 2011 8:13 AM

    By trying to get the players to focus on dollars rather than percentages and acknowledging the league should continue to see significant growth over the next 10 to 15 years, the league is stating that they want to keep a larger piece of the pie every year. This should not be a difficult item to negotiate.

    For example, let’s assume a 10 year agreement. In year 1 they have a 50-50 split on the revenue.
    In years 2-4 the players get 40% of the growth. So if the revenue in year 2 grows from $9B to $10B, the growth is $1B and the players get $400M. Their portion in that year would be $4.9B and the owners would get $5.1B.

    In years 5-7 the players get 45% of the growth.
    In years 8-10 the players get 50% of the growth.

    By the end of the deal the owners have a bigger share of the revenue, but both get increases as revenues increase.

    It accomplishes two things:

    1) The players don’t get less right now than they are already getting.

    2) The owners get a larger portion in the future to deal with the changing business model.

  58. thartnine says: May 20, 2011 8:14 AM

    “Of course, one way to get Smith to “recognize this” would be to open the books and prove to the players that the trend is real.”

    Yeah right! Another way would be to be really really nice to Mr. Smith and hope he changes his agenda. I have a feeling that if the owners did open their books, Smith would find another reason not to do a CBA. He is scamming the players while he builds his reputation as a champion of the little guy, or the meduim rich guys in this case.

    Nobody is going to open their books for this mook, so please stop asking for it to happen. Every time you do it just confirms that you are a lawyer. What do you call a lawyer who gets eaten by a shark? A good start. Where there is a will, there is a lawyer contesting it. How dod you know when a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving.

    I’ll be here all week…

  59. yortnella says: May 20, 2011 8:33 AM

    At my company my pay as a % of company revenue goes down every year (at least i want it to in order for the company to be healthy in the long term). Even though that is happening my raw dollars have been increasing.

    Also, If anyone on this board owns his own business do you think its right to “open your books” to your employees? come on!

  60. snowpea84 says: May 20, 2011 8:57 AM

    I really didn’t expect to come on here and find an article that actually dealt with the reality of the situation.

  61. chapnastier says: May 20, 2011 9:24 AM

    Opening their books will reveal too much to other clubs. It isn’t within an employees rights to see the financial books of a private company. Maybe you, and everyone else will get that sooner or later so a deal can be made.

  62. finfanrod says: May 20, 2011 9:39 AM

    @ MarJones45

    I could not agree more. They are employees. If you really believe that then you should be willing to treat them like employees. No draft, no salary cap, no free agency, no owning a players rights. PERIOD. Let them get a job anywhere they want, just like everybody else. That is the American way.
    —————————————————————
    I’m really curious as to how they are not treated as employees. My wife was at one point in HR at the company we both worked at and I know for a FACT that the company set salaries based on many factors for a position (CAP). They also had to agree to a minimum that they are allowed to pay any employee in the company (Floor). In the whole time I worked here, the average raise was 3-5% and when there was a downturn in the economy they capped at one point at 2.5% and then came out and told us the previous year’s profits were at a record high. However, based the previous year, they felt they should exercise fiscal caution and therefore once again, raises would be capped.

    I would think that most of the people here have had similar experiences. I’m personally just tired of this whole thing. I tend to disagree with the players side but also wonder if that is more based on belief or their really bad presentation. All I want is football.

  63. tombrookshire says: May 20, 2011 9:50 AM

    It’s like how car dealers (another form of hustler) gets you to focus on the monthly payment (dollars) not the interest percentage rate which is much higher. It’s the same hustle that big business uses on consumers. If it works, then they may as well not have a union, since it is their job to make sure the players don’t get the shaft. Funny though, seems like there lots of fans behind the owners, not recognizing that this is the same kind of screwing we’re all getting everyday from big government and big corporations that are firing us, stealing our homes and not paying their rightful taxes. We have no recourse because we are an unorganized rabble. If you support the owners, (billion dollar corporation) you are in effect, supporting the same system that is screwing you. Get behind the players if you in support of anyone.

  64. bowsi says: May 20, 2011 9:56 AM

    Well, let’s give the owners a dollar figure. On average let’s say each franchise is worth $800 million and give them a gratuitous 5% return so each owner pockets 40 million. That’s $1.3 billion of the $9 billion pie of which the players take half or $4.5 billion. So there is $3.2 billion left over to cover expenses and you could probably take a billion off to finance a stadium every year. Just how much money to these owners think they are entitled to?

  65. dcviking says: May 20, 2011 10:09 AM

    One poster indicated that the NFL has done a poor job of marketing their message — that’s absolutely true. I’ve heard the owners talk about “cost certaintity” only a few times — it doesn’t mean that they don’t want the players portion to rise, they just want it pegged to actual values, rather than a percentage.

    As I understand, that’s the way most labor contracts run — you get a fixed rate based on your labor category which may go up over the course of contract. The amount of the raise is fixed (and not tied to owner profits). In the case of the NFL, the labor category is a single pool of money allocated to each team.

    For example, a plumber with the union gets $30 / hour this year, $31 / hour next year, $33 / hour the following year. Those are fixed rates — they won’t vary.

    If the players are concerned about the NFL revenue rising substainsally over the next few years, they should state that concern and factor it in to the amount of money they want set aside for salaries. They may or may not be taking less, but I don’t think it’s unfair for that amount to be fixed.

    No privately owned business is responsible for opening their books as part of the negotiations — get over it.

    The players need to go back to negotiating, finding a fair fixed number (and yes, it should be one that they agree to, not just accept), and go from there.

    If they can’t agree upon a number that their right, but failing to try and find a number puts the blame squarely on the players.

  66. harmcityhomer says: May 20, 2011 10:18 AM

    What is up with all the half wit name calling? This is a multi billion dollar negotiation not some football game.

    The owners want a new CBA that gives them all the same anti trust protections and a higher percentage of the revenue.

    The players do not want a new CBA that gives them less than a 50/50 split.

    They negotiated back and forth for 2+ years. Neither side would budge. The players decertified the union and the owners locked them out anyway, claiming the decertification is a sham and they must remain a union and continue to negotiate instead of litigate.

    If the owners are unwilling to prove what the true costs are, why should the players accept a CBA with a lower percentage of revenue? The lockout is cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    The owners do not have to prove anything, or be 50/50 partners with the players, but they can not expect the players to form a union and sign a CBA until they do. Until then the owners can lift the lockout and play football with a non union workforce and pay them whatever they are willing to work for, likely a lot less than a 50/50 split of revenue.

  67. schoolyardblitz says: May 20, 2011 10:18 AM

    Kom2k10
    I have to respectfully disagree with your comment that the league will become like baseball, with small market teams acting like the pirates.

    I was player agent both before and after the pct/revenue CBA came about, and I have family members who now work for NFL teams, so I can see both sides to this. From my direct experience, I can tell you that non-competitive “profit making” was true BEFORE revenue sharing came into being (ie. Cincinnati, St.Louis/Arizona Cards). But the revenue sharing CBA changed that.

    Keep in mind that revenue sharing didn’t just create a cap, it also created a floor. This meant (and still does mean) that even the non-competitive teams now had to spend. I can recall players I repped from at least two teams who got year end “bonuses” that weren’t in their contracts because those teams had to spend to get “up” to the minimum.
    The current model now in place makes it very difficult for teams to stay on top (ie. top 4 teams cannot sign a free agent until they lose one). The reality is that in the last 15 years, there has been no “dynasty” other than the Pats, who are not and never have been a big market team. Much as I am not a Pats fan, I do recognize they scouted/drafted right, got lucky on Brady, and manage their cap extremely well. You don’t have to be a big market team to do that.

    I leaned toward the league early on in this mess, but after careful consideration, I am now on the players side….for several reasons:

    First, I’m not sure where the 50% comes from. The players were getting 60-64%, not 50%. Seems to me this could be put to bed right away by giving the owners their 1.5 billion off the top and splitting the rest.

    Second, The reality is that the barn door to revenue sharing was opened long ago, and the animals have long since been grazing in that field. The NFL cannot now try to close that door. Tdman 21 hit that right on the head about the owners benefitting socially on stadiums, and privately by profits. The only way that will change is literally by scorched earth tactics and starving the players out. And fans wonder why the players are mad at the league?
    It would be like baseball owners saying, “we made a mistake on allowing free agency and guaranteed contracts, so we want to end that”. How do you think that would go over in MLB?

    Third, why the sudden desire to dramatically change the CBA when the NFL just enjoyed its greatest growth/profitability and futher distanced itself as the number one sport in this country? I’m not buying the stadium/cost argument…to me, gettin the public to build stadiums was ludicrous in the first place. No. it seems to me the NFL sees continuted exponential growth in the very near future so they want the players to agree to a dollar amount, which would result in an ever-decreasing slice of the pie. There really can be no other reason. By keeping revenue sharing, both the players and the owners have a vested interest in the health of the league. Sorry, that just makes sense. And I’m sorry NFL, I know profits may be squeezed because you can no longer get the public to fund your stadiums (although it seems the Vikes are doing ok). Guess what? These are hard times and every company I know has felt the squeeze. Deal with it.

    And while I’m going, I might as well add this…the elephant in the room that no one is talking about is the fact that many NFL teams are having trouble selling tickets. Does anyone think a strike or lockout or scab season is going to help that situation? I saw it happen in hockey and MLB. People will be turned off, some to the point where they won’t come back. If this thing continues into the season, and continues to create such acrimony, it may cause irreparable harm.

    The NFL is easily the most vibrant, viable, growing professional sport in North America. No league touches it or can stand up to it (ask the USFL or XFL) The only thing that can stop it is itself. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening.

  68. stevecmh says: May 20, 2011 10:41 AM

    @knightazure

    Under the last CBA, the owners received $1 billion off the top and then split the remainder. I think that percentage was 57% players, 43% owners.

    I believe one of the owners’ earlier offers was to take $2 billion off the top first, and then split the remainder as it was under the last CBA.

    If memory serves me right, the players’ response to that idea was a straight 50-50 split of eligible revenues without taking anything off the top.

    It’s understandable why the owners want to change to a flat dollar amount for the players. They expect revenues to increase more than they are projecting, and those projections are the basis for their current offer to the players.

    The players know the owners’ projections are too low, especially since the next TV contracts will take effect in in the middle of the proposed CBA term. That’s why they want to stay with a percentage arrangement, if the NFL revenue pie grows their share will also grow.

    Apparently, the owners’ latest offer includes a re-opener clause. If the new TV contracts generate more revenue than projected now, the players could re-open negotiations. As a fan, the last thing I want is to have another round of negotiations in three years when the new TV contracts kick in.

    At least the owners have responded to one of the players’ big concerns, let’s hope it leads somewhere. On the other hand, Roger Goodell reportedly said yesterday that the 18-game schedule is back on the table. I assume that was just a bargaining ploy because we know it’s not going anywhere with the players.

    It’s too bad the NFL doesn’t have a truly impartial commissioner like baseball did from 1920-1992. Then, he could call both sides knuckleheads and lock them in a room until they make a deal.

  69. leib15 says: May 20, 2011 11:08 AM

    bowsi says:
    May 20, 2011 9:56 AM
    “Just how much money to these owners think they are entitled to”?
    ____________________________________
    Um…………………….Just how much of your car do you think you’re entitled to? You can have Tuesday off the top, then six hours in the morning of each of the rest of the days, and six hours in the afternoon. Oh and you pay for gas.

  70. thartnine says: May 20, 2011 2:39 PM

    Kom2k10 says:

    Second, The reality is that the barn door to revenue sharing was opened long ago, and the animals have long since been grazing in that field. The NFL cannot now try to close that door. Tdman 21 hit that right on the head about the owners benefitting socially on stadiums, and privately by profits. The only way that will change is literally by scorched earth tactics and starving the players out. And fans wonder why the players are mad at the league?
    It would be like baseball owners saying, “we made a mistake on allowing free agency and guaranteed contracts, so we want to end that”. How do you think that would go over in MLB?

    ___________________________________

    I am pretty sure that most fans would be more than willing to sit out a season or two if the ownwers could find a way to crush the baseball union. It is that example that forces me to support the owners and hope for a total and complete crushing of the NFLPA.

    The NFL is the last major professional sport in America that has control of its players. The teams gave that control up that last CBA and that was a huge mistake. They allowed the NFLPA to dictate to the owners and the owners have decided that they will not allow it to continue. Profitability is an issue, but my guess is that most teams would rather not have to go to Buffalo in Dec 21 to play in an out door stadium, or to Jacksonville to play in front of 30,000 people, so moving a team to LA or another large city would probably be acceptable. Control of the product, of the rules, of the discipline, that is the real issue.

    The owners have invested their money in these teams, the players are employees, not partners.

  71. tombrookshire says: May 20, 2011 3:05 PM

    You knucklesheads who support the owners here have a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome! You are pissed that players are spoiled millionaires, but you give calculating, greedy billionaires your loyalty and support? Why? I guess when it’s time for pay increases at your company and the CEO tells you that profits aren’t as much as they were supposed to be, so there won’t be any raises this year, yet, he gets his $14 million salary plus bonus, you just shrug your shoulders, huh? It’s the same principle here. Don’t be angry at the players or the union. They are labor in a very high paying business. But they are not the owners who make billions and are worth billions. And, they don’t sacrifice their brains or their bodies in the bargain. You are all for busting someone else’s bargaining power, but a different story if it was you. Think about it.

  72. dcviking says: May 20, 2011 3:47 PM

    Spare me the sacrificing their bodies and minds — they made the choice to pursue this profession.

    They are hardly alone in how much of a beating their bodies take (minus the head trauma – which is unique to football) — ask a fireman, solider, construction worker, or worker in any number of profession what type of shape their body is in when they are done with their career.

  73. tombrookshire says: May 20, 2011 4:15 PM

    @dcviking- Like I said, Stockholm Syndrome! Or if you don’t know what that is, it’s when the victim is brainwashed to side with his tormentor.

  74. dcviking says: May 20, 2011 4:37 PM

    tombrookshire -

    Thanks for repeating your post – I got it the first time.

    If my company tells me I won’t get a raise, I’m not going to like it for sure. However, I understand the guys who started my company have the right to run how they see fit. Likewise, if I do not like it, I may leave the company. If my industry as a whole doesn’t pay me what I want it to, then I need to do something else or start my own company and become the boss.

  75. tombrookshire says: May 20, 2011 5:58 PM

    @dcviking – I didn’t realize life was as simple and cut and dried as that. Thanks for straightening me out. I’ve got to go back and rethink my whole life. If I don’t like how things are at work, I just quit, start my own company, simple. My family would really appreciate that!

  76. voyager6 says: May 20, 2011 6:57 PM

    If you had 10 teams that are going broke, it wouldn’t help if they opened their books. It wouldn’t help if 20 teams are going broke. It wouldn’t help if all 32 teams were going broke.

    Dee Smith only wants in the books to prove to himself the owners are hiding money. When he is done, he will insist on 75 percent of revenue.

    Opening the books will just delay things as the NFLPA* will go through them with a microscope.

  77. SpartaChris says: May 20, 2011 8:29 PM

    bowsi says:
    May 20, 2011 9:56 AM
    Just how much money to these owners think they are entitled to?
    ==============================
    As much as they like. They’re the friggin owner!

    Just who are you to tell someone how much they’re allowed to make off their business and investment?

  78. mulehead says: May 21, 2011 10:35 PM

    skins359 says:
    May 19, 2011 10:00 PM
    What stadium debt? Didn’t the Bidwells in Arizona pay $9 million for a state of the art stadium after the city and the University of Phoenix covered most of the tab?

    I swear everytime I hear these owners complaining about the cost of building stadiums I get confused because most of the time I hear about how much financing the tax payers are taking on in these cities.

    You’re confused because you are stupid! Patriots Owner Robert Kraft built Gillette Stadium on his own dime. I’d say he’s entitled to whatever BIG FAT percentage of the profits from his business he cares to keep. He took the risk, he deserves to be able to recoup the cost of the stadium and to profit in a BIG way. Just as his players and everyone associated with the Patriots have profited for the last decade!

  79. mulehead says: May 21, 2011 10:38 PM

    mulehead says:
    May 21, 2011 10:35 PM
    skins359 says:
    May 19, 2011 10:00 PM
    What stadium debt? Didn’t the Bidwells in Arizona pay $9 million for a state of the art stadium after the city and the University of Phoenix covered most of the tab?

    I swear everytime I hear these owners complaining about the cost of building stadiums I get confused because most of the time I hear about how much financing the tax payers are taking on in these cities.
    ———————————————–

    You’re confused because you are stupid! Patriots Owner Robert Kraft built Gillette Stadium on his own dime. I’d say he’s entitled to whatever BIG FAT percentage of the profits from his business he cares to keep. He took the risk, he deserves to be able to recoup the cost of the stadium and to profit in a BIG way. Just as his players and everyone associated with the Patriots have profited for the last decade!

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