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Revenue up but profits down for Packers

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Major player contracts hit the books in last fiscal year

GREEN BAY—Yet another revenue record highlights the Green Bay Packers’ latest financial report, though the record profits of the past two years weren’t matched as a number of major player contracts hit the books in the previous fiscal year.

That’s the upshot of the team’s financial numbers released to the media on Thursday.

While revenue increased $16 million from last year to this year, player costs rose $35 million, mostly due to a convergence of major re-signings and other contracts for both the 2013 and ’14 seasons becoming official in the same fiscal year.

As a result, the Packers’ profit from operations dropped from $54.3 million a year ago to $25.6 million this year. Net income dropped from $43.1 million to $25.3 million.

“I think you have to look at the last two years together to get a sense of more normalized numbers,” Packers Board of Directors Treasurer Mark McMullen said. “Over the course of the CBA, things will even out.”

Indeed, if the last two years of operating profit are combined and averaged, the $40 million dollar figure is very close to the number reported in 2012 of $43.0 million.

The Packers saw their overall revenue jump 5.2 percent, from $308.1 million to a record $324.1 million. The $16 million increase was split rather evenly between national and local revenues.

National revenue is expected to increase even more in the coming years as new national television contracts take effect. Those deals will raise the salary cap for the players as well as the broadcast revenue for all of the league’s 32 teams.

The local increase came mostly from the expansion of Lambeau Field’s South End, which added 7,000 seats, boosting ticket and concession revenue considerably.

Local revenue should continue to increase with the latest Atrium renovation wrapping up this month. That construction project features the opening of a new Packers Pro Shop and new Harlan Plaza. Two final components, a renovated Packers Hall of Fame and a new on-site restaurant, will open in 2015.

The organization’s overall community impact remains at roughly $6 million annually. In addition, another $5 million was added to the Packers Foundation, an endowment that now approaches $20 million.

Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy pointed to all of that, along with the cost certainties and labor peace afforded by the seven years remaining under the current collective bargaining agreement with the players, as the foundation for a solid financial future.

“Our performance remains very strong,” Murphy said, referring to the team on the field as well as off the field. “We’re positioned really well for the future.”

That future could include any number of development concepts currently being studied for the “Titletown District” that will utilize the multiple properties adjacent to the stadium owned by the Packers.

“We will continue to invest in our facility and our team,” Murphy said. “One of the biggest investments we could make for the organization and the community in the next 10 years could be ‘Titletown.’ We’re excited about its potential.”

 
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