June 18, 2004

NFL Owners fear the death of the Golden Goose: It's a classic battle of Socialism vs. Capitalism...just be glad there are no nukes involved this time around.

posted by bcb2k2 to football at 11:19 AM - 5 comments

Interesting article. From my vantage point it does seem like the new blood owners know how to squeeze extra revenue. I grew up in Boston and now live in Atlanta and I think that Arthur Blank makes a good point: "When I acquired the Falcons [in February 2002], a lot of the attitude inside the building was, 'You have to win games; everything else takes care of itself,' " Blank said. "You do have to win games. But there's a lot of other things that don't take care of themselves, that you have to attend to today to run a successful football franchise." Michael Vick certainly helped his cause, but he also made the team more visible and accessible to the public. I never liked going to see a ballgame in a dome for obvious reasons, but I enjoy games there. Not to mention that Atlanta has the unenviable reputation of having a disloyal fanbase. But Blank has done a great job here and the ticket sales show that. Just like Kraft & the Pats, Blank proves that you need to spend money to make money. I would love to hear from some of the smaller market spofi members on how they feel about this.

posted by usfbull at 11:53 AM on June 18, 2004

Thanks for this! As a baseball fan and only a casual follower of football, I'd always been told that those NFL owners were all living in a wonderful fantasy land with voidable contracts and salary caps and TV revenue sharing and rainbows and lollipops. It's good to see the other side of this as football's economic system is constantly presented to us as some sort of panacea that will magically make everything better.

posted by Jugwine at 11:55 AM on June 18, 2004

Jim Irsay's an idiot. I find it difficult to believe the NFL has real balance problems. If my numbers are still right, gate receipts are split 60/40 between the home and away teams. The TV contract is split evenly among everyone, and that revenue has to dwarf every other stream, or at least make the differences between them neglible in terms of competive balance. The only thing I might be missing are stadium revenues. Luxury boxes are treated as real estate (and priced like Manhattan penthouses, at least in New England) and thus exempt from any revenue sharing. The real split in the NFL is probably between owners of modern stadia and those stuck with 70s relics. That may correlate closely with market size, but it doesn't mean revenue sharing will fix it.

posted by yerfatma at 12:05 PM on June 18, 2004

The NFL should be careful. Back in the 1960s, English football had a kind of revinue sharing. There was no television money, all gate receipts were shared with the away team, and there was a maximum wage (read in this day and age, salary cap). As a result, the likes of Preston, Huddersfield, Bolton, Blackpool etc were able to be competitive. Now, the competitiveness has been lost. Liverpool are 4th favourites to win the Premiership next year at 12-1, and the rest are 50-1 or worse. Norwich, West Brom and Crystal Palace are several thousand - 1. A far cry from 1978, when Nottingham Forest could win division 2 and division 1 in successive years. In another decade, the NFL could easily find itself in a situation whereby only 6 or so teams have a realistic chance of winning a Super Bowl - and it will be hard to reverse the trend, as those winning teams fight tooth and nail against reform. Look at the current state of Formula One as another example.

posted by salmacis at 05:21 PM on June 18, 2004

In another decade, the NFL could easily find itself in a situation whereby only 6 or so teams have a realistic chance of winning a Super Bowl Or like a few years before with the Cowboys. And the Niners before that. And etc?

posted by jmd82 at 06:34 PM on June 18, 2004

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