Owners care more than players about preseason revenue

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In theory, the players should have no leverage at this point in the practice.  Each lost week of the preseason results in a shared forfeiture of roughly $200 million.  Under the proposed labor deal, that’s roughly $96 million for the players, and roughly $104 million for the owners.

In practice, it doesn’t matter because the owners care much more about the preseason revenue than the players do.  For many players, their compensation for 2011 already is fixed; it doesn’t matter if the pot that funds the salary cap adds another $96 million or $192 million or $288 million or $384 million.  For the owners, $104 million in lost revenue per week roughly equates (setting aside for these purposes revenue disparities) to $3.25 million per team, per week.  Which increases to $13 million per team if the full preseason is lost.

What’s $13 million per team?  For some, that’s most if not all of the profit margin for the entire year.

That said, the absence of preseason games would also result in reduced expenses for the owners.  But with game checks not paid until the regular season, the expenses are a lot less during the preseason.

Then there’s the fact that, if a full preseason is played, some veterans (including possibly members of the Executive Committee and/or board of player representatives) could end up making zero percent of their 2011 salaries, if the full preseason gives a younger player enough time to persuade the coach that it’s time to cut the veteran.  So why not skip a couple of weeks of preseason revenue and increase dramatically the chances of getting 17 weeks of regular-season pay?

68 responses to “Owners care more than players about preseason revenue

  1. Not having a preseason is basically screwing the later round picks out of earning a job.

  2. the players better care..because any one who knows simple math would want lets say 48% of 196 mil than 48% of 100 mil.thats 96 mil extra dollars they do care.no matter how much you try to spin it.

  3. At a quick, first glance, I thought the headline read “Owners care more ABOUT players than about preseason revenue.”

    Obviously that’s not right 🙂

  4. True, but the free agents need time to find teams. The players are nuts if they’re wasting time to avoid pre-season games.

    I think Obama and Boehner should finish the CBA and Goodell and Smith can work on the debt ceiling

  5. No training camp and no preseason games= out of shape players and poor football. What a joke

  6. Kansas-
    Carry on my wayward son
    There’ll be peace when you are done
    Lay your weary head to rest
    Don’t you cry no more

    Once I rose above the noise and confusion
    Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion
    I was soaring ever higher
    But I flew too high
    Though my eyes could see
    I still was a blind man
    Though my mind could think
    I still was a mad man
    I can hear the voices when I’m dreaming
    I can hear them say

    Carry on my wayward son
    There’ll be peace when you are done
    Lay your weary head to rest
    Don’t you cry no more

    Masquerading as a man with a reason
    My charade is the event of the season
    And if I claim to be a wise man
    It surely means that I don’t know
    On a stormy sea of moving emotion
    Tossed about I’m like a ship on the ocean
    I set a course for winds of fortune
    But I hear the voices say

    Carry on my wayward son
    There’ll be peace when you are done
    Lay your weary head to rest
    Don’t you cry no more

    (Carry on)
    You will always remember
    (Carry on)
    Nothing equals the splendor
    Now your life’s no longer empty
    Surely heaven waits for you

    Carry on my wayward son
    There’ll be peace when you are done
    Lay your weary head to rest
    Don’t you cry no more

  7. I have a bad feeling when the players vote, we’re going to see a vivisecting of the players: two unions created, some players (like Jackson) flying solo, etc, the whole thing further complicating. When you have 1900 people together, you’re going to get 1900 different povs, issues.

  8. When the U.S. economy collapses entirely (check latest headlines) none of this talk about percentages and who-gets-what will matter because nobody will be out spending money on the NFL. They’ll all be at breadlines…dopes.

    Screw the CBA. Let’s focus on our country.

  9. You hit this one right on the head Mike…. I thought a deal could have been done a few weeks ago.

  10. I think if the players do not sign the CBA and the owners lose preseason games that many veteran players will get cut and only the star players will hang on. The owners would not let this slide by.

  11. Fans don’t care about preseason and especially fans that are season ticket holders. I have been a season ticket holder for 9 years and can’t stand going to preseason games. They are boring, awful games to watch that you get charged full ticket prices for. Total sham, they should charge half price for them but they don’t.
    Hey I LOVE FOOTBALL and want to see this deal get done as much as the next NFL fan. But holding off on this deal a couple more weeks and canceling the 2 preseason home games (which I probably not going to anyway) and getting my money back for them would not be a bad deal at all. And I know many season ticket holders that feel the same way.
    Take your time boys preseason sucks anyway, starters only play 3-4 quarters out of 4 games.

  12. owners aren’t stupid….you cost them money this season they will cost you money this season as well……..the lost money will be reflected in free agent offers this year. and the next year on top of that the lost revenue will be taken out of the cap as well. it’s ridicous they won’t even put this up for a vote……..let the players decide if this is a bad contract….i dont think it is…48% of revenues and less contact during the practice sessions during the year and no two a day sessions. you guys are barely being worked anymore lol……….o and on top of that you get lifetime health insurance now………..how can u not sign this?

  13. Finally!!! You see the light on this point. After post after post about why the players have essentially as much to lose as owners with lost preseason games and my comments to each of those citing this post’s exact point you finally admit it. The players have the leverage now. The owners bungled the close. Who cares if we lose 2 preseason games as a result? The owners do. The players don’t.

  14. I remember during the lockout all I ever heard besides the bad owners is that “all we want to do is play football because we love the game and we do not want the fans to be affected” has anybody heard either the union or the players who are jumping on every talk show, mention the fans. I would like to know, how many NFL Players did not belong to the Union before it went away? This is the day of electronic information, so use it and the union will be ready to move on instead of waiting for them to sign cards, Mr. Smith,welcome to 1950’s. with the cards.

  15. The very many free agents should care- their contracts aren’t set yet. They are directly affected by any revenue loss.

  16. And the clubs will have to reimburse the season ticket holders the money for the pre-season games lost. As long as the regular season starts on time, who cares anymore.

  17. The preseason is a license to steal. . . From the fans! Full price for preseason football?!!! Outrageous! Where is it in the CBA that the the fans don’t have to pay full price for the preseason? Oh wait, the owners will continue to screw fans. One of the reasons I gave up season tickets. Now I go to preseason games at a fraction of the price. Unfortunately, there are many fans who are in this predicament. The owners need to stop throwing their greedy vitriol around and start making concessions to fans in tough economic times.

  18. It will matter to the players next year when they are cut to save cap space under the lowered cap.

  19. i really am starting to not be able to stand the players. what i dont get is certain players keep saying “this was the owners proposal, so we have to make sure we are ok with it”. WHAT? so the owners just drew this up by themselves and voted on it??

    or they say we didnt agree to some of the stuff. well then u should fire d smith. how did that happen? it didnt happen, they are making it up. and they dont want to become a union again, why?

  20. some player tweeted, “the real fans know the truth”. so he is saying, if u r a real fan u will side with the players. it really shows u how they think of fans.

    i have heard a couple nfl players make fun of fans, talkin about how they sweat the players. dont get me wrong, their are good players but alot think they can just do whatever they want and everyone has to go along w it

    dude dont be a sucker to these players, they think fans hang on their every word

  21. I’m just glad that neither side is worrying about the small things….i.e. the fans…..keep kicking the can down the road, guys. There may be far less money to split in the future….

  22. I really have to wonder about all this fighting over money. Don’t these nitwits (both the players and the owners) realize it isn’t going to make one bit of difference who gets how much when the stadiums are empty on Sunday?

    This reminds me of the scenario where two guys are standing in a room full of gasoline up to their knees and one guy has a pack of matches and the other guy has one match.

    All it takes is one match fellas!

  23. I think both the nfl and the players like all this drama. It reminds me of wrestling and I think alot of it is staged and at some point in the year something else crazy will happen to draw attention from people who normally would care less about football. The NFL and the money it generates is causing people to do crazy things.

  24. There is a deal offered that has been negotiated.

    Put the deal to vote and let the players decide.


    If it passes, it passes. If it doesnt, then the owners have a choice to make.

    But if these players take their time on this and they take a non chalant attitude towards the money the owners are losing, then screw em all.

    If they dont care about the preseason, then screw em, we dont care about the regular season. Lets see how much of a fire will be lit under their behinds when they have no money.

  25. BleedBlue18 says: “Take your time boys preseason sucks anyway”

    Such a typical Colts fan. This is the reason I can’t stand Colts fans. If they take their time, I hope Manning becomes a free agent, leaves Indy, and you go back to rooting for Chicago or Cincy or Dallas or whoever else you were a “die hard” fan of before Manning arrived.

    Mcarey says: “Where is it in the CBA that the the fans don’t have to pay full price for the preseason? Oh wait, the owners will continue to screw fans.”

    I think if we’ve learned anything from the players, it’s that they are equal “partners” in this thing. Gotta take the good with the bad. If you feel screwed, it’s not just the “greedy owners” who are doing it to you, the players get 48% of that money…..

  26. good post mike, i was thinking the same thing as soon as i saw the owners signed and the players were unhappy with the deal.
    at this point it doesn’t really seem we know what happened between the point when the sides supposedly reached and agreement and when the owners voted on it. either way it is pretty obvious, in more ways than one, that the players involved in the negotiations have less interest in playing preseason football than they do in getting the deal the way they want it.

  27. The players say one of the sticking points is the discipline powers fo Goodell. There is a very very simple solution……STAY OUT OF TROUBLE……Then the discipline would be a moot issue.

  28. They should restructure the payment plan. Give active vets that were on a roster last year regular paychecks (26 per year) rather than “game” checks. This forces the players to be more active (have a stake in preseason) and cuts the BS out of the pay plan during preseason. Give the rookies/practice squad guys the per diem stuff and the rest are “salaried” employees. Fine the jerks like haynesworth that half-ass everything during camp/OTAs etc. It would probably cost the owners slightly more money but it removes the BS about the players can do as they please during the off-season without missing any paychecks. This lockout would have had a much harsher effect on the players under that kind of system.

  29. Having been a season ticket holder for the Real Oakland Raiders back in the middle 70’s – I always thought exhibition games were pure BS.

    Three max would do the job.

    But – as one or two of the posters noted – what about the FREE AGENTS. They will get screwed if the salary cap/payroll gets cut, and how many free agents are there now?

  30. @mcarey032:
    It is a symantics issue/bad marketing by the owners that has you mad. If you pay $1000 for season tix, you equate that to $100 each game. The owners could charge $112.50 for the 8 reg season games and $50 for each of the two pre season games. You would still be paying the $1000 for the season tix but at least you get the preseason games for less than 1/2 price. You are mad because they print the same amount on each ticket. If you are mad about the hight cost of season tix…blame the fans next to you, not the owners. If nobody bought tix, the price would come down; it’s supply vs. demand not owner price gouging. Concessions/parking fees are another matter 🙂

  31. Simple solution… The owners add a clause in there that the deal they signed is only good if they miss no preseason games.

    If the players stall and there is any missed games, the percentage of the players money drops by 1% for each pre-season game missed.

    Now that would create some urgency…. problem solved!

  32. This is short sighted and selfish, but what else could we expect from the players? Lost 2011 revenue doesn’t hurt players under contract, but it does hurt the free agents and veterans that will be cut because as a cap casualty because there is less money to keep them. So much for the united front the Players were claiming.

  33. I totally think that you are wrong about the owner caring if the preseason games are cancelled. As everyone knows, they have already cancelled one of them. Isn’t it funny that the announcement of that was at the same time as the news of the ratification of the CBA proposal. What the NFL was doing was reminding the NFLPA that they are not afraid to cancel games and if they don’t finish their business in a reasonable amount of time, they will start cancelling more preseason games. Remember it was said that if the NFLPA doesn’t adhere to the schedule that was proposed, the CBA proposal will be changed to adjust to reflect the amount of money lost because of the cancelled games.

  34. @po1ntman
    Gosh, thanks for the Kansas lyrics, dude! Maybe next, you can cut and paste the lyrics for “Ridin the Storm Out” by REO Speedwagon, or “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey!

    Please understand that the above comment was meant sarcastically.

  35. For the down low, watch the T.O./WhateverhisnameCinco show. Either that or ask Jerry Richardson to have a heart. (he’s on number two)

    Of course NFL players make fun of fans, especially the crossovers from NASCAR and Pro Wrasslin’.

    What do the players owe fans that the owners don’t? The fans will pay-up. Yes, they will.

  36. Owners are taking notes. Both guys from the Saints and the Bills who are shooting their mouths off on NFL and ESPN channels can get ready to warm the bench. And if the players keep pushing the issue beyond the pre-season because they don’t care for pre-season or OTA’s (most vets don’t) , they might just push some owners over the edge, especially those with low margins. And all will sit out the season and get older and closer to the end of their contracts. I was surprised by the tone of some the players on TV, very hostile , arrogant and disrespectful. Is D Smith and his team not supposed to be negotiating on behalf of ALL the players. Or should he check every single clause with Tom Dick and Harry? All 1900 of them?
    I started the season siding with the players. No more.

  37. Of course they players assume the fans relate to them more than the the owners, the owners aren’t out there throwing/catching or running for touchdowns. But what they don’t realize is that we all envy them their jobs and yet we view the owners like our bosses. How many people hate their boss but love and or need their job that they live with it. The players don’t get that, when was the the last time you heard a player say, “Sure, I outplayed my contract, but I’m not worried about it, yeah I play the game for money but I also feel an obligation to my family, my teammates, this organization and the fans to come out here and do my job, and hope I am recognized for dedication and professionalism down the road.”? And yet how many of us get out of bed every morning being accountable for just those very reasons. I work in law enforcement and I feel responsible for the community I protect. If not me who… I value my team (coworkers) I support my organization even when I don’t agree with them, tow the line, see it through, and all the bumperstickers, a job well done…the players don’t get that because they have been pampered too much of their life…They all have Michael Jordan disorder…I can command what ever compensation I want because there is only one me.

  38. These players are greedy little babies!! What is there problem anyway way? Everytime you see a player they look like they got a stick stuck up somewhere? Maybe instead of blaming the owners you should blame your own Union for not giving you a complete draft, they were negotiating this thing for weeks now and please stop saying we have no deadlines cause when ever preseason games are missed they will lose money. Lets see i was negotiating for over 100 coworkers and all we were offered was 10 cent raise each year for four years we didnt get all these perks lifetime medical etc… Wake up players people are suffering out in the world you guys have it easy pretty soon you guys will be requesting flags instead of tackling… ANGRY NFL FAN

  39. The players better care cause if they don’t sign quickly, these owners will shut them down till they lose 4-6 game checks and then the offer will totally suck for them.

  40. The owners care more about the fans and the game than the players. They are too stupid to figure out that they are already a bunch of overpaid prima donas…

  41. For this upcoming season, we should wear our team jeresy’s with pride, but cover the players name’s on back for the whole year. They obviously do not care about the product or what fans want.

    To football fans, it is not just about games in September. It is also the excitement of free agents and trades. It is also about checking team websites after OTA’s and mini-camps to see who impressed the coaches. Fans want to see their teams get better, they want to wonder if the new rookie or new veteran will be the final piece to our superbowl.

    The players have do not care about fans or the product on the field, all they care about is their pay check.

  42. Not sure what the panic is about.

    I don’t care if they cancel the first two pre-season games as we all know it’s the 3rd and 4th games that start to mean something for what will mould the team for the season ahead.

    If I am starting out in the NFL, I wouldn’t vote yes on this CBA proposal before I know all the facts. Remember this will affect these players for 10 years, plus years afterwards. Yeah, I’d think I would want to get it right or be miserable for a decade.

    I say take your time players. It’s not like I give a damn about the first two pre-season games anyway.

  43. i dont get why they would want to miss pre-season games where most or almost all starters dont even play.. which is pretty much free $$ for them.. its like my work asking me to come stand around the office to get paid $300,000 for it. very silly! the ones doing all the work are the low income rookies and stadium workers… who are the ones being hurt the most on this lockout.

  44. The owners have an easy power-play here… Just release a statement that player safety and quality on-the-field product during the regular season are of the UTMOST importance, and as such, each week missed due to the labor uncertainty will be deducted from the regular season (and game checks will be deducted from player salaries).

    Play the delay game 3 weeks and we’ll have a 4 week preseason and a 13 week regular season.

    In the past there were as few as 12 regular season games and as many as 6 preseason games.

    The players argued that they would be irrepairably harmed by moving to 18 games… let’s see how they feel about reducing it to 12 games (and 12 game checks).

    Get their asses to work.

  45. pakrbakr76:

    You’re right on the money, but the ignorance out there is truly astounding.

  46. If the owners made the deal such that they can lose 2011 pre-season revenue without it impacting the players 2011 game checks, they are idiots! If this is indeed the case, how can anybody expect the players NOT to stall here!? They need to get cleaned up for drug tests, and they can miss 2-3 weeks of preseason games and get clean at the same time. Azzhats! All of them!

  47. The spitefulness of the players is obvious. They have to show how macho they are by dragging their feet so they won’t be accused of “backing down” from anything.

    Let’s hope the owners are “taking names”. Some of these guys have already played their last game in the NFL without knowing it. Or, who knows, they could be traded somewhere they might not like to be or just rot away “on the bench”. Of course things would have to be done in a fashion that can withstand a lawsuit or intervention by, ugh, the ACLU or the NLRB.

    The way some of these players and “union” reps have comported themselves with their immature and childish speaking and twitter outbursts is absolutely disgusting. The owners, in spite of whatever they are trying to bargain for in the new CBA, have not taken the same road in the public sense when speaking as have the players. I think some of these players will rue the day that they publicly villified the owners – and they will have brought it upon themselves

  48. After seeing that deal i cant imagine the owners negotiating anymore.

    They already dropped the soap in the shower…you think they are going to intentionally drop it again?

  49. The truth is the fan, the customer is not considered important to either side believing we will take and pay for the NFL product no matter what. It is sad that they may be right.

  50. The way the networks announce the players already have their money. So they don’t want to practice or care about preseason, you may as well have replacement players. Just think of all the offsides and false starts we will see if they don’t want to practice or gety some reps in preseason. Fans don’t like preseason because of the ticket prices to go to games. The players have really shown how childish they ALL our the last few days. For as much as we always are having how professional they are stuffed down our throat, they have thrown that out the window with their latest moves.

  51. Anyone who is saying owners are taking names or veterans will be cut knows very little about football. Coaches will decide who gets cut and who stays. Coaches need to win for their jobs, not owners. To many other teams would snatch up a good veteran player if they were cut, and owners are smart enough to know winning equals money. They also know collusion would screw them but good.

  52. With the loss of the HOF game, the player’s average loss is around $50,000 per player while the owners average loss is $3,250,000 per owner. For players making minimum salaries, that’s about 15% of their salary, for owners it’s about the same percentage. Kinda stupid for both parties not to be working 18 hours/per day, 7 days/week at this point until the deal is done. If it were my money being lost, I’d be raising hell with the leaders of both sides.

  53. The owners should vote again on the CBA Proposal this afternoon by telephone video conference and this time really change the proposal.

    The new proposal would stay exactly the same, but would be deemed rejected by the players if they fail to hold a vote on the proposal by Midnight, Monday July 25th.

    Put the fire to the player reps to get their guys in line for a vote. They can vote on this thing NOW! They only need 50% plus one vote.

  54. Get a clue, this is a lockout not a strike. The owners are the reason for this. There is zero evidence any team is losing money. This is all about making more money for the owners. This country is really in trouble. I don’t understand why people are so quick to side with billionairres. It is almost a self loathing thing. You so badly want to be rich you identify with your oppressors. Crazy.

  55. Forget about players and owners for a minute. What about local economies and lost tax revenue? Canton, Ohio already got screwed. What about stadium workers who need there wages to eat? These rich people need to get over this stalemate.

  56. @bobbyd12 —

    Don’t be so innocent and naive — have you ever heard of Al Davis and Mike Brown (just to name a couple) – they can be as vindictive as they come. Do some thinking before you start calling someone else out. If you don’t know these two owners then you’re the one who knows nothing about football

  57. To all you who would not mind the first couple, or all, the pre-season games being missed…..Think about it…Are you happy with your teams performance based upon last years roster? No pre-season means no practice, which means no new players can be evaluated by the coaches, which means you get the same roster as last year.
    Furthermore, IF all preason games are cancelled, the first couple regular season games will look remarkably like the current pre-season games, sucky.
    Third, where exactly do you think the money you pay for games, etc goes? “Greedy effin’ owners” are simply passing their expenses on to their customers just like every business does. As players wages go up, where the heck do you think the “greedy effin’ owners” get the money to pay them? If the sales taxes go up to 20%, who do you think pays them, the owners because they are “nice” guys? Heck no, the fans pay them. Per Mike F, the loss of pre-season revenue is more than the profit margin of many teams. Cancel the pre-season and your regular season tickets will go up in price to cover the difference. (I learned that at about age 13 on my first job)

  58. dknice says:
    Jul 23, 2011 9:51 AM
    Get a clue, this is a lockout not a strike. The owners are the reason for this. There is zero evidence any team is losing money. This is all about making more money for the owners. This country is really in trouble. I don’t understand why people are so quick to side with billionairres. It is almost a self loathing thing. You so badly want to be rich you identify with your oppressors. Crazy.
    So…men who run a business that 100% of us fans have 100% free will in whether or not we will purchase anything related to said business are “oppressors”? Interesting (and quite incorrect)interpretation of the word.

    I don’t care about being rich and sure I would want a fair salary for my job even doing something I loved. But from the details I have seen of what the players have gotten in this deal (provided they are all accurate), I cannot FATHOM why they would want to say no to it after they have time to read it over. There’s something called the law of diminishing returns that I believe basically states that at a certain point, working harder or doing “X” more won’t provide you with a proportional rate of increase on the other end. IMO, it’s time for the player’s side to realize that is now. The owners, by approving the deal, already have.

  59. @FinFan68

    It’s way more than semantics. It’s illegal in many states to sell a ticket to a sporting event at more than face value. Thus, as a season ticket holder, if I am unable to make a game I can only charge face value if I don’t want to break the law and risk losing my season ticket account that I have had for over 20 years.

    Also, the Patriots only allow their season ticket holders to sell their tickets through the team’s official ticket exchange network…at face value. So, if your proposal was adopted, and I wish it was, I would be able to get fair value for my tickets based on their value as a regular season ticket. That’s all I ask as a season ticket holder.

    As far as blaming fans for attending a game that they love goes, many of us aren’t front runners like they are in Miami. We support our team in New England, as evidenced by 17 straight years of sell outs. You can thank us diehards for subsidizing YOUR team under the proposed luxury tax system in the new CBA. It’s cool though, the cold weather blue states are used to subsidizing the sunbelt red states anyway. It’s nothing new.

    “FinFan68 says:
    Jul 23, 2011 12:10 AM
    It is a symantics issue/bad marketing by the owners that has you mad. If you pay $1000 for season tix, you equate that to $100 each game. The owners could charge $112.50 for the 8 reg season games and $50 for each of the two pre season games. You would still be paying the $1000 for the season tix but at least you get the preseason games for less than 1/2 price. You are mad because they print the same amount on each ticket. If you are mad about the hight cost of season tix…blame the fans next to you, not the owners. If nobody bought tix, the price would come down; it’s supply vs. demand not owner price gouging. Concessions/parking fees are another matter “

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