The NFL has run out of ways to make money and is looking at its players as a new revenue stream. If the league can’t wring more money from the players it plans to lock them out when the players’ union contract expires in two weeks, even at the risk of cancelling the next season, The Wall Street Journal reported
The NFL earned a record $9 billion this season, all the franchises are profitable and shared 80 cents of every dollar, and there is a salary cap. However, ticket revenues have been flat and municipal largesse for stadiums has ground to a halt with the economy. Owners are concerned that without a steady growth in revenue the value of their franchises might be harmed, the Journal said.
Director of the Tulane sports law program Gabe Feldman said that in past pro sports labor disputes the "NBA and NHL owners have claimed they can't pay. The NFL owners say they don't want to pay," the Journal said. The NFL’s Eric Grubman said the lack of public funding for stadiums have forced owners to pony up for “capital costs” and it would be hard to raise ticket prices in this economy.
Grubman asserted the players should bear some of the costs the owners have taken on. The league has proposed lengthening the season from 16 games to 18, a plan it says will bring in about a half a billion. Players have so far resisted the plan, fearing injuries, the Journal said.
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