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NFLPA: Stephen Ross made a wise investment

The National Football League Players Association has a lot on its plate the coming months and years.

In March, the players' union will look to elect a new executive director and you should keep you eye on this process because two of the favorites to replace Gene Upshaw, who passed in August, are former Dolphins teammates Trace Armstrong and Troy Vincent.

Long-term, the NFLPA has to be worried about the fact 2009 is the final capped year off the current collective bargaining agreement, 2010 is scheduled to be uncapped, and the threat of a lock out hovers over the league for 2010 or 2011 absent a new agreement.

In preparing for negotiations that could lead to a new agreement, the NFLPA commissioned a Chicago-based economic team to study the state of the league's 32 teams. The conclusions, based on court documents, and other data, concluded that NFL teams rose in value at a rate of 14 percent the past 10 years, with the average price of a franchise going from $288 million to $1.04 billion. No team obviously opened its books for this study except the Green Bay Packers which are a public-owned team.

The study further concluded that in the last year, the average team made $24.7 million in profits and rose in value $82.6 million for a total of $107.3 million in total annual return. This means that in tough economic times, each NFL owner got about a 10 percent return on his team.

Applying the formula to the Dolphins going forward, Stephen Ross can expect a 10 percent return on his $1.1 billion investment next year, or $110 million. Obviously, that is an approximate projection that doesn't take into account the unpredictability of the current economy.

There are also factors at play for Ross that don't apply to other clubs, such as the debt load he carries for Dolphin Stadium. [Some of that debt will be paid if and when Ross sells naming rights to the facility, which he is expected to do.]

The point the NFLPA is making is that, even as some NFL owners are crying poverty as they look for rollbacks on the players getting 60 percent of the gross revenues, their teams are basically licenses to print money.

Good thing Ross decided against raising ticket prices for 2009.


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first. Glad he's not raising prices.

Mando, you breaking news that he is not only going to keep prices the same for 2009, but for 2010 as well? Good job!

[Some of that debt will be paid if and when Ross sells naming rights to the facility, which he is expected to do.]

And so it happened that Dolphins Stadium became the Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande and Wolf LLP Stadium.


In all honesty, the the players make way too much money for playing a game. Its rediculous the amount they have to pay players. That goes for all sports. Think about it, players getting paid 10-20+ million a year to play a game they grew up playing just for the love it. For free to

If all the owners and players would agree to a smaller cap, then the owners could charge less for tickets and merchandise, thus bringing more people to the stadiums. But we all know thats not going to happen because the vast majority of both sides are greedy and money hungry. It will be quite interesting to see how it all turns out.

the dolphins should draft alex mack in the first round trade satele for 1 or 2 pics in the 2nd the first pick should take kenny britt then with the 2b if he falls clay matthews then sumwhere in the 3rd or 4th draft david veikune from hawaii and find corners too wihin free agency and the 3rd-7th rounds =) what do you think?


If the fans are paying it now, why in the world do you think owners would lower prices?

Give some of that money to the old timers who are so crippled they can hardly walk. Those were the guys that played the game for the love of it!!!!! Now, this multi-billion dollar business wants to sweep them under the carpet.

tinshaker needs t.p for his bung-hole

lxx13 Have you been reading the papers recently? Nfl guys only last a few years after playing. A lot are dead by 50 due to concussions. Considering the violence of the sport and the high risk of permanent injury they deserve what the market pays. If you don't like the prices don't buy the product. If you buy the product you contribute to the rising prices.

Those numbers are bogus Mando. Sorry, but the players' numbers are going to be on the super high side... since, of coarse, the more money THEY (the players) can say teams are making the more money THEY can request.

And Mr. Ross has "other factors" that play to his advantage.... if you listened to his conference call- the one you were on- you would have heard him say that he's planning on making HUGE money on events held at Dolphins Stadium that aren't directly connected to the Fins. Like the Orange Bowl, the Marlins, and the Super Bowl. As well as concerts and other events that are unique to S. Florida.

Why do people complain about how much money professional atheletes make, but you hardly ever hear anyone complain when an actor makes as much (or more).

My comments do not apply to me personally because I own my own business and Im not struggling to go to a game or buy merchandise. But considering the economy atm thats why I suggested they all lower their costs. Alot of people cannot afford to go to a game in many sports. Its not just football. As for the players having health issues after football, thats what insurance is for, plus if your willing to take a risk for the sport, then you accept the consequences it brings. Im not saying they should get well paid, but dont you think its a little crazy that some players are getting 10-20 mill per year to play a game? When cops risk their lives every day, but then cant hardly afford to retire.

The other reasons I bring up the topic is because there will be no cap in 2010. Thats when things will get out of hand. If they dont lock out, then you will have a few teams that will spend rediculous amounts on all the top tier players just like the yankees in baseball. Not that it has helped them lately. But still, if that happens, would you want football to become boring like baseball? Where the same rich teams play for the super bowl every year? With the occasional fluke long shot making it? As it is, football has alot of parity right now.

This article tells me the PA is doing research so they have enough ammo to demand even more money, which in turn will eventually raise the ticket prices and merchandise prices as well. Also there were alot of stadiums that didnt fill their seats this year.

Kevin - I bought 1 hat this year and thats it. Haven't had a reason to buy a new jersey yet, Marino still works till we get someone worthy of buying their jersey. :]

FinFanMan13 - I think actors are way over paid and pampered as well.

the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, actuallt the rich also get golden parachutes and bail outs too.

thank you ixxy 13 for the shout out to all the men wearing a badge makeing 40 to 50 thousand a year putting there lives on the line , as one of many that wear a badge its comforting to know that there are people that appreciates us.. also actors are pampered and should be striped of all clothing.(especally angalina jolie)

Why is it that employees of Multi-billion $$$ companies can't ask their bosses for raises based on how much money that company made, but NFL players can ask (and get) a better wage based on how much money the owner makes? THAT, my friends, just does not make any sense!

It is and always was what the market will pay for it. When the stadium is empty then they will change prices.
Look at the Panthers. They sell tickets and give away enough meals and merchandise to keep people in the stands. No demand = no sales. If I was a player I would take the owner to the bank and get what I could every time because I am going to give it everything I have to win but most importantly it could be my last game.

Thanks for a breathtaking article.

Armando, as in everything else in the Wall Street driven American economy, it is a complete farce to believe a business, any business can sustain growth indefinitely. A team like a business has a value based on its perceived strength and the ability to continue to maintain an upward growth pattern quarter after quarter. Once that growth pattern is not sustained then the business is devalued in the eyes of Wall Street and the perceived worth takes a hit. The only way the NFL can continue to maintain growth is by continually bringing in more revenue but I believe we have reached the breaking point.

For many years the grass roots football fan was able to set aside some cash so they could attend their favorite past time, but these folks have rapidly been priced out of participation. So they must concede to watching the television to follow their team, but the passion they obtained from youth while watching from the stands is lost on the generation of their children. Once this gap is fully realized it will be far too late to fix because the passion will be gone.

The NFL needs to take a step back and the greed that has precipitated on all sides must be halted for the good of the future of the game… If the NFL continues to price the common folk out of the game it will soon lose its luster and will be in for some very bad times. If the CBA is not negotiated peacefully and there is a strike or a lock out the common people will treat this in much the same way they did the greed of baseball. If there is no cap and the greed is not checked then the prices will continue to spiral and our beloved game will be lost for the sake of the almighty dollar.

The NFL does not have 162 games where revenue can be generated even in bad times. With only 16 games any large hit in the fan base could be detrimental to the very existence of the league. These guys need to step back and take a long look at the world around them. Times are very hard and first things people give up are items that in reality are frivolous personal entertainment that can easily be done without. The league is being blindsided by its own misguided sense of self-worth. They need to wake up quick or the gravy train will be coming to a halt very quickly.

Cuban Menace - Your welcome. I also think teachers should be paid more. The thing that really gets me is 90% of all the money spent in the USA on toys for your kids goes to China, which owns alot of the debt we owe now. Why the heck dont people build the toy factories here in the first place? It would open up tons of jobs and help our own economy. I will tell you why.

America is fat, lazy and soft. Not everyone, but the majority is. We hire illegal immigrants to harvest our oranges in Cal. and Florida because they cant find any Americans that would take a job doing that kind of hard work. Everything has grown way out of proportion at both ends of the spectrum. I work hard myself, but was raised playing football and baseball outside as a kid, I have alot of friends whos kids sit around playing xbox while eating bon bons and can barely fit through the bathroom door. Guess they wont be working too hard either. lol. Sorry to go so political, but this article just shows 1 part of the problem in this country.

Also Cuban - I agree, Angelina SHOULD be stripped of all clothing, but so should Jessica Alba, Kate Beckinsale and even Cristina Aguilara(dont think I spelled that right, but oh well, u get the point) LOL.

I totally agree with lxxy13 all the friggin Way!

Pretty interesting stuff.

I'm in the wrong business. Owning an NFL franchise is one of the few business ventures that have little to no risk of losing money. Has never happened, doubt it ever will, even in this economy.

cuban menace wears a badge all right,security guard badge at a graveyard.That's the only job with a badge where you can be on a blog 24/7 and be a collassol loser and social parasite,I can think of lol!!!

I hate hearing "the players make too much money" argument. They are highly skilled athletes that, for the most part, eat and breath their sport almost year round. They have a short shelf life and should try to make as much money as they can. Do you think the owners would give away tickets?

How much do corporate executives make a year? How much do they pay executives they are about to fire?

I think an athlete deserves to get a reasonable share of revenue as they are the product. Sure, there are overhead costs, but without the players, what do you have? A lot of empty seats.

Hey willi.why are you complaining? ,i thought you owned 3 fortune 500 companies,a yacht,3 mansions and multiple cars, lol.you think with all that money you should be able to by a nfl team, lol.now you're in the wrong business.just one? or is it 3?lol

the one thing that the commission report also mentioned, that I think you forgot to write about, is that the Detroit Lions were the only franchise in the NFL to LOSE money last year.

Again, it's not really relevant to the story line but an interesting fact.

take care.

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