The Green Bay Packers released their 2009-2010 financial numbers Wednesday. They are the only team required to do so, because of their status as a publicly-owned franchise. Because of the ongoing labor talks, there was great interest in what the Packers were going to report.
Not surprisingly, the team brought in record revenue, but it didn't lead to a record profit for the franchise.
The team's financial report shows $258 million in revenue in 2009-2010, but operating expenses continue to rise. Last year, the franchise saw costs escalate $20 million to $248 million, and it was mainly due to player costs.
They also reported that players costs are increasing 11 percent annually while revenue is growing at a 5 percent rate. Profit from operations was $9.8 million, compared to $20.1 million in 2008-09.This is likely good news for the NFL and its owners, who are pushing the idea that player costs are rising faster than revenue all over the league. No other team will be required to release this information, and it's not likely anyone else will.
Operating expenses were $248 million, compared to $228 million the year before. Exclusive of player costs, expenses were $87 million, down from $89 million the year before.
"Player costs continue to grow at a rate faster than our revenue," said Mark Murphy, president and CEO.
The union will continue to fight the owners on this issue, and they can easily argue that Green Bay is just one (really small) market out of 32 in the league. That they struggle to generate more revenue shouldn't be a huge surprise.
However, union head DeMaurice Smith should not be happy with these numbers. The Packers have been profitable for years, and they set a record for revenue. Despite that, they didn't turn a healthy profit, and they did not add to their preservation fund (basically, the franchise's savings account). That still sits at a shade under $130 million.
The organization said their method of reporting this information has not changed at any point, denying the idea that they are helping the NFL play a political game with the union.