The Green Bay Packers reported record annual revenue of $441 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2017. Wochit
I contend, though the Packers don't necessarily agree with me, that the least important number in their financial report is net income.
And here's why: As long as expenses don't exceed revenue, they're golden, because they don't have an owner (or owners) pocketing profits. The money stays with the team, no matter how they parcel it up.
The key number is revenue, how much money is coming in the front door. This year that total was a record $441.4 million, not including relocation fees (more about that below). Revenue could reach half a billion dollars in two years or maybe sooner. The Packers have said ticket prices will continue to rise as they attempt to stay near the league average, Titletown District leases will begin to come online, and, for three years, TV revenue will increase as well.
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And here's something to consider: if the Green Bay Packers, who occupy the smallest market in U.S. professional sports, are making that much money, what are the Jerry Joneses and Bob Krafts of the world accumulating in their metropolises? You know, those guys the Packers have to compete with.
Half a billion dollars might not be that much after all.
So, back to my original point, net profit is not as important as total revenue and how they use it.
Packers' reserve fund
Where profit does come in handy is when it remains lying around as cash. The Packers contributed $5 million to the Packers Foundation endowment and earmarked $50 million for the reserve fund, which has gone by different names over the years. It is the team's insurance policy against a lot of adverse possibilities.
When the last collective bargaining agreement was negotiated seven years ago, it was called the Team Preservation Fund and totaled $127 million. It now stands at $349 million, the team said Wednesday. That amount rises and falls with the stock market, but is enough, now, to nearly cover team expenses for one year.
The Packers Foundation endowment fund, by the way, is up to $30 million. The Packers have been contributing to the fund regularly and foundation giving has increased accordingly, reaching $1.3 million last year.
When 27 is really 50
As mentioned Wednesday, the Packers recorded as income $27.1 million in relocation fees which three teams — the Rams, Chargers and Raiders — must pay in order to change cities. Payments won't begin for two and a half years and will actually total closer to $50 million to the Packers when all are made over a 10-year period. Why it was recorded as $27.1 million is accounting magic. Don't ask. At least don't ask me.
Vivid Seats new Packers travel partner
Vivid Seats, a national secondary market ticket vendor based in Chicago, is the new "Official Fan Experience and Travel Partner of the Green Bay Packers."
Until this year that role was held by Event USA in Ashwaubenon. The team and company parted ways earlier this year.
Terms of the multiyear partnership were not disclosed.
Vivid Seats will provide fan travel packages for home and away games, host tailgate parties with Packers alumni before games, and provide custom events for groups.
Fans also can buy tickets on Vivid Seats' regular secondary online marketplace.