GREEN BAY, WIS. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers finished on top last season and it’s reflected in their bottom line.
The Packers are reporting a $12 million profit from operations for 2010-2011, up $2.2 million from the previous year. The overall net income was $17.1 million _ a jump of nearly $12 million over last year, due in large part to improved performance by investments.
And while team officials still have some concerns about the lingering effects of the lockout, which has hurt their ability to sell sponsorships going into the season, the Packers are emerging from all the uncertainty on solid financial footing.
As the league’s only publicly owned franchise, the Packers are the only NFL team required to reveal detailed financial data. Results will be announced during Thursday’s shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field but the team provided an advance look to media outlets, including The Associated Press.
The Packers‘ financial report was a significant point of contention a year ago, as players were clamoring for other teams to open their books. But now that players and owners have agreed to a new deal, the numbers won’t be as heavily scrutinized.
“I think there was compromise on both sides,” Murphy said. “We feel we made some economic gains, really to address some of the concerns that we’ve seen with our financial statements, really over the last five years. We’ve seen over the last couple years some of the concerns in terms of player costs increasing at a higher rate than revenue.”
In turn, Murphy said the players made “significant gains” in terms of health and safety.
And with a decade of labor peace on the horizon and new incentives for NFL teams to grow their local revenue, the Packers intend to move forward on expanding the seating capacity at Lambeau Field.
Under the new agreement, owners share 40 percent of local revenues with the players _ a lower percentage than they will share of national television revenues or other national ventures. And the new agreement contains provisions that will reimburse some of the money teams spend on stadium improvements.
“Half of the private investment that a team makes, they can get back through stadium credits,” Murphy said.
No timeline or budget estimate is in place for the expansion, which could add about 7,000-plus seats to the south end zone.
“The demand for tickets has maintained, and even increased, during the lockout,” Packers vice president of administration/general counsel Jason Wied said. “It gives us a lot of confidence that we could add additional seats here. And it’s important to recognize that the Packers are in a different position than the rest of the league. Although we didn’t see a lot of direct impacts because of the lockout, on our financials, that’s not the case across the league.”
The team froze, but did not cut, employees’ salaries during the lockout. The Packers also had a hiring freeze. The franchise didn’t have to dip into its “preservation fund,” which remains unchanged at $127.5 million.