GREEN BAY—Another successful season on the field, the continued loyalty of the team's fans, and the timing of two players contracts helped the Green Bay Packers set a franchise record for profits in fiscal 2012-13.
"The good year on the field and the support we got from our fans propelled us to set records," Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said.
It also helped the cause that record-setting contracts for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews weren't completed until the new fiscal year began. Translation: Player costs will be higher in the current fiscal year than they are in the financial report Murphy will deliver to shareholders on July 24.
"Player costs were down $19 million over the previous year. It's a timing issue," Murphy said.
The Packers' financial report shows total revenue of $308.1 million, a franchise record, against $253.8 million in expenses, leaving a profit from operations of $54.3 million. Net income of $43.1 million is a franchise record, though it's only a one percent increase over the previous year.
Rodgers' and Matthews' contracts will be hitting the Packers at a good time, in a year when the team will open the new south end zone expansion, which is expected to lift the team to new heights in total revenue.
"You'll have additional revenue from the expansion," Board of Directors Treasurer Mark McMullen said. He explained that careful management of the balance of revenues vs. expenditures keeps the Packers in the black and continues to give the franchise a solid financial future.
"The most solid it's ever been," McMullen added.
Murphy said the "long-term stability of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement has been a huge help. The new G-4 loan program allowed us to invest in the stadium, preserving and protecting the future of the franchise.
"Knowing you're going to have eight more years of labor certainty has really been beneficial to us. We're investing a lot more into the community," Murphy added.
The NFL contributed $61 million toward the Lambeau Field south end zone expansion, per the G-4 loan program. When the renovation of the Atrium is complete, the NFL will have contributed $116 million toward the entire Lambeau Field expansion and renovation project.
Murphy explained to the media on Tuesday that the 7,000 additional seats in the south end zone will provide the local economic impact equivalent of one extra home game per year.
"We're investing in the team, we're investing in the facility … trying to set the organization up to be successful in the future," Murphy said at Tuesday's press conference.
Lambeau Field's new seating capcity is 80,750, third-largest in the NFL behind FedEx Field and MetLife Stadium.
"We'll be using profits to pay off the debt on the stadium improvements," said Paul Baniel, the team's vice president of finance and administration.
"We were pleased to be able to accomplish it without any public tax money," Murphy said of funding for the Lambeau Field development project.
One of the charms of the Packers' unique public ownership structure is that every dollar the Packers generate stays within the organization, as compared to a team with private ownership that might direct monies toward other endeavors.
Next on the Lambeau development agenda is renovation of the Atrium, which is expected to be complete in June of 2015.
The Packers are contributing $5 million this year to the team's foundation, and each team in the NFL is contributing $2 million to advancing player health and safety measures.
"We're stewards of the organization, leaving it better than how we found it, and we are," Murphy said.