Relocation fees help boost Packers in another strong year
NFL relocation fees helped boost the bottom line for the Green Bay Packers and the rest of the NFL.
The league's only publicly owned team released its 2017 statement on Wednesday, reporting net income of $72.8 million.
About $27.1 million is part of the team's share of the fees that the Raiders, Rams and Chargers had to pay to relocate. Such fees are split equally among NFL teams that aren't moving.
The Packers' annual financial statements always provide a peek into the lucrative business side of the NFL, especially since the team plays in the league's smallest market. The relocation spree over the past year gave the report added relevance.
The Raiders' fee to move from Oakland to Las Vegas was about $350 million. The Rams had to pay a $650 million fee to go from St. Louis to Los Angeles, while the Chargers had to pay the same amount to move from San Diego to join the Rams up the California coast.
So that would mean the share of the relocation fee pot for each of the 29 teams that didn't move would be approximately $55 million. With taxes and estimating the value of the dollar in future years, the actual accounting gets hazy fast without an accounting degree.
The Packers said its share of relocation money will be paid over 10 years, starting in 2020.
''It also gives you an idea of the time value of money. Our last payment will be 13 years out,'' team President Mark Murphy said. ''That $27.1 million, if you invested it now, will be worth a lot of money in 13 years.''
Overall, one of the NFL's marquee teams had another strong financial year: Total revenue rose 8 percent to $441.4 million, a new high for the 14th straight year.
The financial stability stems from how the Packers are ''operating our business in a very responsible manner,'' Murphy said.
Revenue from national sources rose 9.6 percent to $244 million, which the Packers said was due to the NFL Network and the league's TV contracts.
Expenses rose by 12.7 percent to $376.1 million. Expenses outpaced revenues because of the cyclical nature of player contracts and the first full year of depreciation costs connected to recent renovations at Lambeau Field, the team said.
Without the relocation fee money, the Packers' net income would have declined slightly from the $48.9 million listed in 2016.
The Packers remain a success on the field, having made the playoffs eight straight seasons. Off the field, they are also almost done with the first phase of the Titletown development district, across the field from Lambeau.
The district includes a brewery, hotel and a sports medicine clinic. A second phase will include residential and recreational development.
It could be a few years before the team sees revenue from the project, Murphy said.
''It is responsible investment, diversifying revenue stream,'' he said. ''It's a big investment in our community.''
The Packers hold their annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field on July 24. Training camp begins on July 27.
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