National Football League


Revenue Sharing: Quest for Certainty

  “We (NFL owners) are a bunch of fat-cat Republicans who vote socialist on football.” —Art Modell, former owner of the NFL Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens “The NFL is a perfect portfolio.” —John Vrooman, The Economist League Think Over the last half-century the NFL has become the most economically powerful sports league in the world largely because it has also…

Posted by on June 11, 2020 in Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, Sports Econ Blog


Salary Cap: Monopsony Power Play

Salary Cap Theory / Big 4 Cap History / Cap Graphs / Combo Graphs  / Cap Mechanics / QFV Theory / CBI & Beta Balance / Perfect Game / Two to Tango / Monopsony Power / “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” –Yogi Berra Quid Pro Quo Salary caps in professional sports originated in the 1984-85…

Posted by on April 23, 2020 in Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, Sports Econ Blog


NFL Draft: Show Me the Money

Round 1 Draft Projections 2020 PDF / 2020 NFL CBA Changes / 2020 NFL CBA / Inverse Square Root Rule / Draftwire / ESPN / Economic Structure / Bloomberg / 2020 NFL Draft Projected Player Contracts Round 1 ($M) PICK TEAM PLAYER  POS COLLEGE TOTAL BONUS 2020 CAP 1 CIN  Joe Burrow  QB  LSU $36.97 $24.71 $6.72 2 WAS  Chase Young  EDGE…

Posted by on April 10, 2020 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


Coronaviral Impact

Interview with Wall Street Journal / Toronto Star / AFP /  What sports and what teams do you think are most likely to be financially impacted by fans not attending, or not being allowed to attend games? Hockey? Baseball? Minor leagues? Major leagues? Which sports and teams’ revenue models make them most vulnerable to this type…

Posted by on March 13, 2020 in Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, Sports Econ Blog


Blind Sided

Interview with Toronto Globe & Mail / Interview / NFL Revenue Growth / Economic Structure of NFL (PDF) I’m a regular reader of Prof. Vrooman’s blog and was wondering if he might have a few minutes today (Tuesday) or tomorrow to talk about the current state of the NFL from an economic perspective. I was hoping to get…

Posted by on January 31, 2020 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


Monopoly Unchecked

Interview with HBO’s “Real Sports with Briant Gumbel.” NFL Economic Structure / NFL Financials.  Between us (I wont quote you…it’s just to get me thinking on some things): Would you say that American sports leagues are unchecked monopolies, not subject to oversight or regulation (like most monopolies)? Yes, the NFL is an unregulated (if not legislated…

Posted by on January 27, 2020 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog

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Super Bowl Boomerang

Interview NPR/Miami: I’m a reporter-producer with WLRN, the NPR member station in Miami. This year’s Super Bowl will be held here, and the NFL has made the environment a focus in the lead-up to the big game. I’d like to consider this relationship for a possible audio feature story airing the week before the Super Bowl….

Posted by on January 20, 2020 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog

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Super Bowl LIV Chances

Vroom-Daddy NFL Playoff Chances 2020 Wild-card weekend FAV PROB PTS* Bills at Texans | Jan. 4, 3:35 p.m. ET | ESPN/ABC BUF 55.3% -1.7 Seahawks at Eagles | Jan. 5, 3:40 p.m. ET | NBC SEA 57.4% -2.4 Titans at Patriots | Jan. 4, 7:15 p.m. ET | CBS NEP 70.4% -7.0 Vikings at Saints | Jan. 5, 12:05 p.m. ET…

Posted by on January 20, 2020 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


Turkey Day

Interview with Athletic. Graphs pdf. Graphs XL. I’m writing a story for publication ahead of next week’s NFL Thanksgiving games, taking a look at the history and importance of those games for the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions as the long-time hosts. One of the primary questions I’m trying to answer is the financial importance…

Posted by on November 21, 2019 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


Winner’s Curse

Interview with Fox Business / PDF  -Traditionally, what has been the NFL’s stance or approach on private equity investments? It seems that the league has preferred to deal with individuals rather than firms in terms of ownership. -Are we approaching a point where the NFL would consider allowing a private equity firm to take a major…

Posted by on November 21, 2019 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


Brotherhood of Running Backs

Interview with Bloomberg Law. Lexology. NFL Player expenses by position in 2019.  Spotrac. I’m a reporter with Bloomberg Law and did a brief story this morning on the potential for running backs to split from the NFL Players Association. I’d love to update the story with some more context on why running backs might want to split from the NFLPA…

Posted by on August 9, 2019 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


NFL Draft: Inverse Square Root Rule

Vrooman’s Inverse Square Root Rule in 2019 Draft. In Bloomberg News. Origins of Vrooman’s Rule. Inverse Square-root Rule

Posted by on April 25, 2019 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


Both Ends against the Middle

Interview with Charlotte Business Journal. These are numbers from South Carolina Department of Commerce estimating impact of a Panthers training headquarters being built there. Can you give me your perspective on this? The simple problem with the superficial politics of pie in the sky promises of regional impact studies is that they usually imply that…

Posted by on April 8, 2019 in National Football League

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Super Bowl LIII VRX Pick

NFL VRX Super Bowl Pick 1/22/19. NFL VRX Round 3 Picks 1/14/19. NFL VRX Round 2 Picks 1/11/19. NFL V-Power Picks 1/6/19. NFL V-Power Picks 1/1/19. NFL Power Picks 12/25/18. NFL Power Picks 12/18/18. NFL Power Picks 12/11/18. NFL Power Picks 12/4/18. NFL Power Picks 11/27/18. Upshot: Playoff Simulator. NFL Mid-Season Power Picks 2018.  

Posted by on February 1, 2019 in National Football League


Rival Leagues Rising

Interview with TSN (The Sports Network) . What factors have led to the the creation/planning of at least three alternative professional football leagues — AAF, XFL, FFL? The NFL is a stone cold monopoly league (one seller) in the fans product market (gate and media) and monopsony (one buyer) cartel in the players’ labor market. The…

Posted by on January 31, 2019 in National Football League


Elephant in the Room

Interview with Bloomberg News. / NFL Draft Graphics. Given your expertise in NFL and its CBA, curious if you might be able to do some rough calculations on how much Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence might be losing out on by having to spend at least the next two seasons in college before being eligible for the NFL…

Posted by on January 10, 2019 in National Football League, NCAA Football


Panther Power

Interview with Charlotte Observer. -What would you say are the biggest advantages/opportunities of moving practice facilities (adjacent to BofA Stadium) and offices (inside stadium) to somewhere else offsite? The Panthers are simply keeping up with the Jonses by building separate practice facilities, which in this case probably involves a covered facility and offices exclusively controlled…

Posted by on December 20, 2018 in National Football League


San Antonio Chargers

Interview with San Antonio Business Journal. Our mayor has indicated that San Antonio leaders should reach out to Los Angeles Chargers ownership, in light of that team’s severe struggles in finding support in the City of Angels. Do you believe there is merit to San Antonio at least initiating dialogue with the Chargers/why? Yes because…

Posted by on November 7, 2018 in National Football League


Jerry’s World

Interview with Bloomberg News. Cowboys Stadium 2010. Do you have any estimates on how much Arlington has spent on pro sports since first building the (first) Rangers stadium? My estimates show about $960 million, which include $135 million in bonds for the 1994 Rangers stadium, $325 million for the Cowboys stadium, and $500 million for…

Posted by on August 22, 2018 in National Football League


Piece of Integrity

Interview with CBS. I am writing on integrity fees. Are the pro leagues and NCAA entitled to them?  Is so, what should they cover? The Big 4 professional leagues and the 2 quasi-professional NCAA revenue sports are seeking a piece of sports betting action, and it can easily be argued that they are not necessarily…

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in National Football League


Bargain Price

Interview with Charlotte Observer. (Sporting News) -What benefit might David Tepper see in bringing in minority owners if he technically doesn’t need any (financially speaking)? David Tepper will be certainly more fan friendly and way more accessible to the media than “Mister” Richardson. In terms of the overall Panthers fan experience this should be a positive…

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in National Football League


Sure Thing

Interview with Las Vegas Sun. -Is downsizing new stadiums projects and increasing technology and amenities the best way to comate the ever improving at-home game experience? Welcome to the new NFL where smart luxury stadiums are economically designed to maximize team profit rather than fan welfare. The general downsizing trend in the NFL is consistent…

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in National Football League


Monopoly Money

Interview with Charlotte Observer. — How much of a concern are the upcoming CBA and TV contracts for a possible buyer of an NFL franchise?  The strength of sports union varies inversely with the length of the CBA. Largely because of the relatively short careers of its players (3.3 years), the NFLPA is by far…

Posted by on March 23, 2018 in National Football League


League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Interview with Crains Business NY. NFL Economics Stat Pack.  Clearly there are threats to the NFL’s business model as it now stands. Rights costs are generally out of synch with ratings and ad revenue, and the dangers of CTE could push young players and their parents away from the game in the coming years. My…

Posted by on March 8, 2018 in National Football League


Checkers or Chess

Interview with Arizona Republic. A state bill here in AZ that would have Arizona join a national compact forbidding the use of taxpayer money for new professional sports facilities or renovations to existing ones. The compact would not take effect until 24 other states adopted it, the goal being that sports teams could no longer…

Posted by on February 12, 2018 in National Football League


Super Bowl High

Interview with Philadelphia Biz Report.  I am hoping to get a comment from you on what (finally) winning a Super Bowl will do for the valuation of the Philadelphia Eagles. In the short run, NFL values are a simple function of market size and the certainty of cash flow from luxury seat cash cow venues….

Posted by on February 5, 2018 in National Football League

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Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

Interview with NY Daily News. 1. Tom Brady is widely regarded as the best player in history at the most important position in all of sports. Yet over 18 seasons, he’s only been the highest-paid QB in the NFL one time (according to salary cap hit). And in six of the past seven seasons, as…

Posted by on February 4, 2018 in National Football League


Keep Pounding Carolina

Interview with Charlotte Observer. Keep pounding, Carolina. Given the current ownership structure of the Panthers and ongoing renovations (and lease agreements) at BOA, the new majority ownership partner will probably be from or have strong financial ties to sweet home Carolina, and the Panthers are not likely to engage a credible franchise-relocation stadium-extortion game for…

Posted by on January 29, 2018 in National Football League


Panthers Partners

Interview with Charlotte Observer. I am looking at the limited partners who are part of the ownership group with Jerry Richardson and explaining how these partnerships can work. My understanding is that Jerry clearly runs the show, although these partners still own a significant stake. I was wondering if you might have thoughts on how…

Posted by on December 26, 2017 in National Football League


Rest Easy Carolina

Interview with Charlotte Biz Journal.  Mike Ozanian of Forbes tells us the current NFL franchise market is soft with 3 to 8 franchises either on the market or coming soon. One fourth of the NFL being placed on the block is a stretch even if league ownership is rapidly aging, but I would agree with…

Posted by on December 18, 2017 in National Football League


NFL in Mexico

Interview with NY Times. what makes mexico tempting and worthy of at least trying games there (after a gap of several years since 2005). I understand the NFL wants to grow but what factors in Mexico make that worthy of testing and what financial dividends might there be? There are already more NFL fans in…

Posted by on November 17, 2017 in National Football League


Too Much TV

Interview with Milwaukee Journal Sentenel.   Why have NFL revenues increased so much faster than those of the corporate sector as a whole? The NFL is a natural cartel that exerts major monopoly power over its die-hard fans, media outlets and general taxpayers. By artificially limiting the number of franchises the League is able to maximize…

Posted by on November 4, 2017 in National Football League


Great Divide

Interview with Deadspin.  Deadspin XL / Deadspin growth / Growth XL The Brown family and the Bengals have long made it well-known that there’s a revenue divide between the NFL’s large-market and small-market teams. Even now, when revenues are through the roof thanks to the league’s national TV-rights deal, Troy Blackburn says the smaller markets have a…

Posted by on August 18, 2017 in National Football League


St. Louis v. NFL

Interview with Bloomberg News Is this suit unique/unusual in the history of litigation over NFL franchise moves? No, the City of Cleveland successfully sued the NFL after the relocation of the relocation of the original Browns to Baltimore Ravens in 1996. In the relocation extortion case the NFL settled with the City of Cleveland by…

Posted by on July 12, 2017 in National Football League


Desert Locked

Interview with ESPN. What kind of impact can the Raiders’ move to Vegas have on the Cardinals – whether it be taking away fan interest or travelers who visit Phoenix for games? With the opportunistic, public money-grabbing relocation of the Oakland/LA/Oakland Raiders to Sin City, the Southwest desert is about to get real crowded with…

Posted by on March 27, 2017 in National Football League


Relocation-Extortion Game

Interview with Bisnow / Noll & Zim What role does the league franchise system play in NFL team relocation? The important legal and economic question about the NFL ultimately reduces to whether the League is the single entity firm with teams as operational franchises or the teams are instead several and separate competing firms. The Supreme…

Posted by on February 4, 2017 in National Football League


NFL Secrets to Success

Interview with Finanz und Wirtschaft.  What makes the NFL so successful as a business model? The NFL is a perfectly syndicated and fully diversified sports league cartel because of extensive revenue sharing among natural competitors. As a means for its own survival the NFL business model of “league think” was formed a half century ago…

Posted by on February 3, 2017 in National Football League, UEFA Football


Stay or Go in San Diego

Interview with San Diego Times Union. I’m researching a column about the state of play facing Dean Spanos as he decides among three options: 1) Forego or seek to extend the L.A. option and stay in San Diego, under the Qualcomm lease that expires in 2020. 2) Stay in San Diego, pursue stadium deal for…

Posted by on January 6, 2017 in National Football League


Out-kicking the Coverage

Interview with Charlotte Observer.  — Do you think concussions are currently hurting the NFL as a business, whether it’s ratings or fan interest? What damage could it do to the business going forward? Yes, NFL TV ratings are declining due to a complex combination of a variety of factors including media oversaturation of game broadcasts,…

Posted by on November 28, 2016 in National Football League


Breath of Fresh Air

Interview with Florida Times-Union Jaguars Financial Charts. (XL) I’m doing a story looking at the five years of ownership of the Jaguars by Shad Khan from a business standpoint – how well he has operated the team as a business, how well he has done with a) building equity in the team, and b) increasing local…

Posted by on November 17, 2016 in National Football League


Real Sports

Interview with HBO Real Sports  HBO Package  PSL’s: Can you give me a quick background on the PSL’s vis-à-vis taxes. I have a sense (but not sure if I’m right) that a team sells these PSL’s  but then doesn’t pay any taxes on them because technically they’re PSL’s for a public entity. So if the…

Posted by on November 8, 2016 in National Football League


TV Bubble

Interview with CBS.  I am looking for commentary on the NFL’s ratings decline.  Have the media companies paid too much for the broadcast rights in recent years and are now paying the price? Sports TV Bubble Yes the artificial sports TV bubble may not have yet burst, but it has sprung a considerable leak, particularly…

Posted by on October 27, 2016 in National Football League


League Think

Interview with CBS. How important has revenue-sharing been to the league’s success?   Was the NFL the first of the pro sports leagues to share revenue amongst its teams? The seismic shift in the economics of the nfl was the sports broadcasting act of 1961 where congress exempted the NFL, rival AFL and other major…

Posted by on September 8, 2016 in National Football League


Internal Profit Contradiction

Interview with Sports Illustrated.  SI: I thought it was high time I replied to several of your terrific observations/responses. Feel free to respond to MY responses with more sublime riffs: Vrooman: “My first question is whether the hypothetical cataclysm is about the sudden absence of NFL football or NCAA D1 football or high school or pop warner…all…

Posted by on August 31, 2016 in National Football League


Deep in the Heart

Interview with San Antonio Biz Journal. I have been covering for more than two years the Oakland Raiders’ interest in San Antonio, which has waned of late because of Mark Davis’ infatuation with Las Vegas. I have included other sports economists in previous reporting and wanted to get your insight for my next story. The…

Posted by on July 19, 2016 in National Football League


Inverse Power Rule

Interview with NBC. Power rule / XL Power rule We’re writing a quick story on what money NFL draft pick Laremy Tunsil may have left on the table with his Twitter video last night. Do you potentially have any projections on what he will make as the 13th pick, compared with what he could have…

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in National Football League


Cutting the Cord

Interview with AFP (French) / Portuguese. – Can you envision a subscription streaming platform (Netflix, Amazon) acquiring exclusive rights for a major sporting event or a league in the foreseeable future ? Cutting the cord and streaming is the future of all media (if not the present in some cases), and this is especially true for domestic…

Posted by on March 3, 2016 in National Football League


Rams need LA more than LA needs Rams

Interview with LA Times. Lots of enthusiasm in L.A. about the economic impact in Inglewood. Jobs, taxes, tourism. I don’t mean to piss on the parade, but even with a year-round commercial facility built into the plan, I’m skeptical. correctomundo What about the impact on nearby existing businesses? Monolithic NFL Stadiums are notoriously terrible economic…

Posted by on March 1, 2016 in National Football League


Tax Man Cometh

Interview with the Street.  Can you explain some of the real economic factors the league SHOULD be looking at in determining how much to charge the Rams for moving to LA? Ironically the empty LA market has probably been more valuable to the NFL as the 3rd leg in a public stadium funding extortion triangle…

Posted by on February 17, 2016 in National Football League


Breaking Even

Interview with NBC. Vrooman general Super Bowl Comments 2/2016: NBC-SB / NFL-SB The NFL post season is at best a break even financial proposition for the participating clubs. For all NFL post season games (including the SB) all of the gate and media revenue are divided evenly among 32 teams in league after modest deductions (probably about 15…

Posted by on February 3, 2016 in National Football League

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