With Super Bowl XLV in the books, the NFL team owners and players union will now focus their full attention on putting together a ne w collective bargaining agreement. There are many issues that both sides would like to hash out. Some of which include the percentage of revenue split and the proposed 18 game NFL season. What neither side has publicly come out and discussed is the financial impact that a work stoppage can have on the US and local economies. Here are few ways that a work stoppage can severely hurt an already fragile economic situation.
According to an article written in September 2009 on Entrepreneur’s website, it is believed that fantasy sports generate an estimated $1 billion dollars in revenues. NFL Football is the major player in fantasy sports by far. CBS Sports, Yahoo and others have large numbers of people who enroll to play fantasy football each year and with a work stoppage comes the complete halt of this huge industry.
Without a collective bargaining agreement in place, the NFL can no longer make money selling jerseys with player numbers and names on them. Although figures on this number are hard to calculate and vary from site to site, you can bank on the fact that this number is in the tens of millions. A lack of a CBA will bring this number crashing down.
When you talk about the staffs of teams, most people immediately think of the coaches and trainers. Many of these people are very well paid and a work stoppage for one year may not impact their bottom line too much, but there are many that aren’t taken into consideration. Teams have secretaries, accounts payable staffs, etc. and stadiums have countless people that work the games every Sunday. This is an immediate impact to many of these families and I have personally spoken with a vendor that doesn’t know how he will survive if the Falcons don’t play next season.
When teams travel, generally many fans of the team travel with them and when teams play in areas that are accessible to their displaced fans, the local economy gets a boost. This is also a tough number to put an exact tag on, but it can be assured that millions in revenue will be lost due with a work stoppage.
Small Market Impact
While large markets like New York, Chicago or Dallas may see an NFL Lockout as a huge inconvenience, smaller markets like Charlotte, New Orleans and Green Bay could be devastated by a work stoppage. According to an article released in The Star of Charlotte, the NFL Players Association estimates that a work stoppage could cost the city of Charlotte $160 million dollars in lost jobs. The effect of losing this type of revenue to an economy on life support like New Orleans could be a death sentence.
While both sides can make valid arguments as to why each of them it right, here is some more food for thought. The league minimum for a rookie in the NFL is just over $300,000 and median salaries are in the neighborhood of $1.5 million per year. The national average wage index is just over $40,000 per year. With that said even if the average NFL career is just over 3 years, that player will have made more than the average American will in a lifetime. It has also been argued that the average worth of an NFL team has quadrupled since 1990 and many markets build new stadiums with tax payer dollars, so the owners are doing so bad either. It just seems that in all of this posturing, no one is considering the guys who cut the grass or clean out the toilets in the multi-million dollar venues. Shouldn’t someone?
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