Record rev­enue – and ex­penses

Packer Plus - - Finance Report - Richard Ry­man Green Bay Press-Gazette

– The Green Bay Pack­ers on Mon­day re­ported record rev­enue — and record ex­penses — for the year.

The Pack­ers said rev­enue for the fis­cal year, which ended March 31, was $454.9 mil­lion, $13.5 mil­lion more than last year. Ex­penses were $420.9 mil­lion, a $44.8 mil­lion in­crease.

Pack­ers Pres­i­dent and CEO Mark Mur­phy said in­creases in player salaries and travel costs, plus a $5 mil­lion al­lowance for con­struc­tion drove ex­penses higher. Coach­ing changes also played a part in the ex­pense in­crease.

Rev­enue ben­e­fited from ad­di­tional money from shared na­tional tele­vi­sion con­tracts and growth in lo­cal in­come, largely as a re­sult of new spon­sor­ship agree­ments.

The Pack­ers are the only fan-owned team in the NFL and the only team to pub­licly re­port its fi­nances. The re­port is the best pub­lic in­for­ma­tion avail­able on the fi­nan­cial as­pects of an NFL team.

The Pack­ers have 360,760 own­ers hold­ing 5.02 mil­lion shares. Shares are not traded and they are rarely sold. The last sale was in 2012 to help pay for south end zone ex­pan­sion. No new sale is con­tem­plated.

The an­nual share­hold­ers meet­ing is sched­uled for 7 p.m. July 26 at Lam­beau Field.

The team re­ported net in­come of $38.6 mil­lion, $34.2 mil­lion less than last year. The pre­vi­ous year’s net in­come in­cluded $27 mil­lion worth of re­lo­ca­tion fees, split among NFL teams, from the Los An­ge­les Rams, Los An­ge­les Charg­ers and soon-to-be Las Ve­gas Raiders.

To­tal rev­enue, rather than net in­come, is the more sig­nif­i­cant num­ber in Pack­ers’ fi­nances be­cause all money, whether profit or not, goes back into team op­er­a­tions or the com­mu­nity. Net in­come, how­ever, does show how well the team is keep­ing ex­penses un­der con­trol.

Mur­phy said player ex­penses tend to be cycli­cal, ris­ing and fall­ing with new con­tracts. He said the salary cap was raised by $10 mil­lion per team for five con­sec­u­tive years, which also lead to in­creased player ex­penses.

Na­tional rev­enue of $255.9 mil­lion was up 4.9 per­cent. Na­tional rev­enue in­cludes TV deals, road-game rev­enue shar­ing and other in­come, such as from NFL me­dia op­er­a­tions.

Tele­vi­sion rev­enue in­creases about 5 per­cent an­nu­ally and is shared equally among the league’s 32 teams.

Mur­phy said NFL deals with net­works have built-in in­creases. Also, the NFL main­tained short-term con­tracts on Thurs­day night games, which al­lowed it to reg­u­larly in­crease them.

Lo­cal rev­enue, which was $1.6 mil­lion higher, in­cludes game-day rev­enue, lo­cal broad­cast fees, spon­sor­ships and Lam­beau Field Atrium-busi­ness in­come. The lat­ter in­cludes the Pack­ers Pro Shop, the Pack­ers Hall of Fame, sta­dium tours, 1919 Kitchen & Tap restau­rant and atrium rentals.

Tourism-type spend­ing — in­clud­ing Pack­ers Pro Shop, Pack­ers Hall of Fame and Lam­beau Field Sta­dium tours — de­creased, pri­mar­ily be­cause the Pack­ers last year failed to make the NFL play­offs for the first time in nine years.

Cel­e­bra­tion of the Pack­ers’ 100th sea­son of foot­ball should add to tourism­type spend­ing this year and next, Mur­phy said. The cel­e­bra­tion con­cludes with the Pack­ers’ 100th an­niver­sary on Aug. 11, 2019.

Title­town Dis­trict in­come and ex­penses are in­cluded with the fi­nan­cial re­port, but the Pack­ers did not break out de­tails.

“We’ve got pretty sig­nif­i­cant up-front ex­penses,” Mur­phy said.

At one time, the Pack­ers ac­knowl­edged an in­vest­ment of $65 mil­lion in Title­town Dis­trict, the busi­ness and en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict west of the sta­dium. The num­ber has grown and may be up­dated in the com­ing months.

The Pack­ers rank eighth or ninth in the league in to­tal rev­enue, a po­si­tion which will be harder to main­tain as new sta­di­ums open in Los An­ge­les and Las Ve­gas in com­ing years.

“We are still in the 32nd-sized mar­ket in the NFL,” said Paul Baniel, Pack­ers vice pres­i­dent of fi­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion.

A big source of rev­enue for other teams is sta­dium nam­ing rights, which Mur­phy said the Pack­ers will never do.

“That’s why we have gates that are all named,” he said.

Mur­phy said the sta­bil­ity of the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment with the play­ers union al­lowed the Pack­ers to in­vest heav­ily in Lam­beau Field and the Title­town Dis­trict. The agree­ment is in its eighth of 10 years.

“We are hope­ful we can reach agree­ment on an ex­ten­sion,” Mur­phy said. “I think the agree­ment has worked well for ev­ery­one.”

The team con­tin­ues to in­vest in Lam­beau Field and the Title­town Dis­trict. The Pack­ers have in­vested more money ex­pand­ing Lam­beau Field and build­ing Title­town Dis­trict in the past decade than the team did in the 2003 Lam­beau Field ren­o­va­tion.

“We have some debt re­lated to sta­dium ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion, as well as Title­town de­vel­op­ment. Rev­enue from cur­rent and fu­ture years will be more than ad­e­quate to pay it off,” said team trea­surer Mark McMullen.

This year’s im­prove­ments in­clude new sta­dium lights, new Lam­beau Field turf and grow lights, and the be­gin­ning of con­course ren­o­va­tion.

The team is adding grab-and-go con­ces­sions in the con­courses, sim­i­lar to what would be found in an air­port. Mur­phy said that is ex­pected to shorten lines at stan­dard con­ces­sion stands and gen­er­ally have peo­ple re­turn­ing to their seats more quickly.

The plan is to im­prove the con­course sound sys­tem as well.

For the fourth con­sec­u­tive year, the team added $5 mil­lion to the Pack­ers Foun­da­tion en­dow­ment fund, push­ing it over $32 mil­lion. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s an­nual im­pact, through grants and other projects, ex­ceeded $8 mil­lion.

The Pack­ers said last sea­son’s rev­enue was $454.9 mil­lion, $13.5 mil­lion more than last year. Ex­penses were $420.9 mil­lion. ASSO­CIATED PRESS

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