Are you ready for some football? Well maybe not yet, but attending NFL games and rooting for your local or favorite NFL teams occupies most of the fall. Fans across the country gather on Sundays to watch and hope their team is victorious. Football is a way of life for many major cities and smaller communities. The NFL, obviously, provides entertainment for millions each week during the season.
However, what some fans may not realize is that the NFL teams, owners and executives are also part of an extremely lucrative business.
NFL Teams’ Business
A game comprised of one ball, one field, and two teams is capable of attracting not only millions of fans but billions of dollars in revenue. In fact, a game that seems relatively simple and fun to play has become one of the largest businesses in the world. Ranking first in sports entertainment, the NFL is a powerful superstar in the world of economics as well. The average net worth of the 32 teams in the NFL is approximately $1.4 billion, which equates to almost $45 billion as a sports franchise.
Team owners have literally struck gold by being a top dog in the NFL. These individuals have seen their personal worth go from millions to billions in just a few years. It is no wonder that the NFL is taking the economy by storm. The biggest question that remains, however, is how the NFL has become so financially successful.
The average “Joe” who loves football is a partial contributor to the wealth of the NFL. The price of admission to a professional football game in 2014 averaged $84 a ticket. While this seems like chump change to the NFL, the fans who fork over their hard-earned money to attend these games for entertainment value are making the rich even richer. Add in the money spent on merchandise, parking, and concessions at a game, the NFL’s pockets continue to exponentially grow while the fans’ pockets are virtually emptied.
Watching on Television
While many devout fans attend the games in person, another huge population of the world relies on TV to broadcast their favorite team’s weekly game. In fact, the NFL is the most popular sport to watch on TV. The media is partially responsible for supporting the NFL’s ever-increase in the teams’ monetary value. The NFL’s broadcasting deals with major television companies will increase to over $200 million in the next several years.
Additionally, those subscribers of satellite television are guaranteed to watch their favorite team through the deal reached with companies. Recognizing the extremely high demand to watch football, packages such as the NFL Sunday Ticket offers are appealing to mass audiences everywhere. This partnership, of course, brings in additional revenue for both the NFL and its participating satellite companies.
Taxes and Tax Breaks
The fans that regularly support the NFL through attending games or watching them on TV pay all sorts of tax. The ticket a fan buys to watch a game contains an added tax, and a home entertainment subscriber pays a tax on his monthly bill. While all NFL teams are taxed on its sales, including tickets and merchandise, the NFL itself is a tax-exempt organization. Grandfathered in as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization, the NFL is receiving millions of Americans’ dollars that are non-taxed. Considered a 501(c) 6, it falls under the category of a business league.
Therefore, even though its commissioner is paid $30 million a year, the NFL is free from paying taxes.
The NFL is a big business that brings in big bucks. Professional football, while highly entertaining to watch both live and in the comforts of a fan’s home, cashes in on virtually every aspect of the basic game. The American public, unfortunately are footing the bill.