NFL Franchises Are Stuffed With Money

Green Bay’s finances give a hint to how much each team brings in.

Thirty-one of the 32 National Football League franchises are privately owned and the public is not privy to those business’s financial statements. In fact, the National Football League Players Association hierarchy has probably never seen the real financial status of those 31 teams. This much is known though, you have to be very rich to buy a team these days as the Wal-Mart or Sam Walton heir Rob Walton can attest. He and some partners just spent more than four and a half billion dollars to purchase the Denver Broncos football team. But there is one team that has to open the books, the Green Bay Packers. Because of the structure of the business, it’s a publicly-owned team, the public has a right to know. Now Green Bay’s business issues stock but the stock is worthless, people buy a piece of paper saying they own a part of the team. It is a century old publicly run business and from the looks of it, the  business is doing rather well.

Green Bay is the National Football League’s smallest market but it is also Wisconsin’s team and a lot of corporate support comes from Milwaukee. The Packers business in 2021 brought in $579 million in total national and local revenue. After $501.3 million in expenses, the team had $77.7 million in operating profit. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the sports financial world, the team reported a $38.8 million loss on $371.1 million in revenue and $409.9 million in expenses. NFL teams get the same national money but the big market teams get more local money and that might make a difference in scouting or marketing. NFL franchises, though,  are rolling in cash.

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws to a receiver as he is pressured by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)