NFL: Nonprofit Football League

Sep 26, 2013

Some mid-week reading as we go into the beginning of the season. Seems like the mainstream media can’t seem to stop picking on the poor NFL these days. More articles are coming out on the NFL’s nonprofit designation as well as the fact that they pay for as little as they possibly can when it comes to… well, just about everything. From refusal to accept responsibility in paying their retired players their earned disability and pension benefits to taxes to publicly-financed stadiums that the teams rent for peanuts while reaping all the rewards from ticket, food, parking and merchandise sales, the Nonprofit Football League manages to generate a $10 billion-a-year revenue stream that would make the Fortune 500 if it weren’t for their nonprofit status.

From Gregg Easterbrook at The Atlantic:
The Atlantic

How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers

Taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn’t apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It’s time to stop the public giveaways to America’s richest sports league—and to the feudal lords who own its teams.

Gregg Easterbrook
Last year was a busy one for public giveaways to the National Football League. In Virginia, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, who styles himself as a budget-slashing conservative crusader, took $4 million from taxpayers’ pockets and handed the money to the Washington Redskins, for the team to upgrade a workout facility. Hoping to avoid scrutiny, McDonnell approved the gift while the state legislature was out of session. The Redskins’ owner, Dan Snyder, has a net worth estimated by Forbes at $1 billion. But even billionaires like to receive expensive gifts.
Taxpayers in Hamilton County, Ohio, which includes Cincinnati, were hit with a bill for $26 million in debt service for the stadiums where the NFL’s Bengals and Major League Baseball’s Reds play, plus another $7 million to cover the direct operating costs for the Bengals’ field. Pro-sports subsidies exceeded the $23.6 million that the county cut from health-and-human-services spending in the current two-year budget (and represent a sizable chunk of the $119 million cut from Hamilton County schools). Press materials distributed by the Bengals declare that the team gives back about $1 million annually to Ohio community groups. Sound generous? That’s about 4 percent of the public subsidy the Bengals receive annually from Ohio taxpayers.
Read the rest of The Atlantic piece – click HERE.
Gregg Easterbrook was also on NPR’s All Things Considered talking to Robert Siegel about his new book, The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America and the NFL’s nonprofit status.

NFL’s A Nonprofit? Author Says It’s Time For Football Reform

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but if you’re counting dollar signs and eyeballs on fall TV, football takes home the trophy. Part sport, part national addiction, part cult, writer Gregg Easterbrook says, the “game that bleeds red, white and blue” could use some serious reform.
His book, The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America, is a conflicted one, but Easterbrook is OK with that. “I think in our modern polarized debate, we tend to assume that you’re either for something or against it,” he tells NPR’s Robert Siegel. “The intermediate position — that you really like something but you’re aware that it has deep-seated problems — is harder to fit into modern discourse. … I love football, and I want it reformed.”
Easterbrook talks with Siegel about some areas of the industry he’d like to change, from youth football, to NCAA athletics, to the National Football League — which was chartered as a nonprofit.
Listen to the interview from NPR:

Then you have International Business Times covering a new petition on asking Congress to revoke the NFL’s tax-exempt status. The petition has already garnered over 170,000 signatures in a few days of being online (click HERE to sign the petition).
Sign This Petition

NFL Nonprofit Flap: Outraged Petitioners Tackle Tax-Exempt Status Of The National Football League

By Christopher Zara

on September 24 2013
When it comes to paying taxes, critics say professional football has been getting a free pass.
More than 150,000 people have already signed a rapidly growing petition demanding that the U.S. Congress revoke the tax-exempt status of the National Football League. Calling the NFL the “most profitable sports league in the world” — and pointing to top officers who are paid tens of millions of dollars a year — the petition says the NFL “should not be able to hide under a nonprofit status in order to avoid paying federal taxes.”
The league, which represents the 32 teams that make up the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference, is classified as a trade association and currently enjoys 501(c)(6) status, a designation reserved for business leagues. While the individual league teams are for-profit ventures, the league itself pays no corporate taxes because it does not technically make a profit — this despite reporting revenue of more than $255 million in 2011. (As a nonprofit, the NFL must direct this revenue back into its operating budget, but there is no stopping it from doing so by way of exorbitant executive salaries.)
Read the rest of the story on IBT – click HERE.

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Dave Pear
    September 26th, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Dave Pear

    The NFL also has an Antitrust Exemption. (Meaning that they negotiate their business deals especially TV as one and not 32 different entities doing 32 different deals). ALL or nothing!

    How can that be? Is there any other business for profit that enjoys a “nonprofit status” and a “antitrust exemption” simultaneously?

    If so, please let us know.

    Thank you,
    Dave Pear
    Pro Bowl 1978
    Super Bowl XV
    Social Security Disability at the age of 50.

  2. Nonprofit Football League Flap | The Sport Digest
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    […] Dave Pear, a former NFL offensive lineman who writes Dave Pear’s Blog, adds that the football league “pays for as little as they possibly can when it comes to, well, […]

  3. David Spada
    October 1st, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    David Spada

    Is the new NFL Players Association Former Players Member Directory for 2013-15 out yet? Can’t find online yet.

    David Spada

  4. Alan Pastrana
    October 4th, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Last week, 85 members of that Fall 1962 Annapolis High School season gathered for a 50 year reunion of the undefeated football team from A-High. Players, cheerleaders,band members, coaches, managers, support staff and families “huddled” in the banquet room at Mike’s Crab House in Riva, Maryland to honor that season. We told stories, reflected on an era of life that was face-to-face and we honored the Annapolis students that stayed-and-played after 3 P.M. We recoginzed war hero’s, educators, doctors and nurses, law enforcement officers, paramedics and fire fighters and volunteers in the community. We came away with many, many great memories. At the end, we all stood and sang the Alma Mater. We decied that there could not exist a more loyal group of high school student then our 1962-63 Annapolis High School students. As we all know,
    high school athletics, and especially football, when “done right” can have a lasting and positive effect on players, support staff and community.
    Respectfully submitted
    Alan Pastrana / Hal Grau
    Co-Capt’s / Quarterback / Halfback of that 10-0-0 football team

  5. Larry Kaminski
    November 15th, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    Fellow Independent Retired Players:

    I was sitting in my office the other day watching whatever and a lawyer alert came on that if you had a hip placement procedure with a certain medical device that you may be eligible for a part of a $3 BILLION settlement. All I could think of the fellow players who need help because of continuous trauma to the head which means the brain and the powerful NFL offers $765 million with no attachment to the issue. How does this happen?

    I am so happy that Bret Favre is speaking out. Maybe just maybe, we can get someone to understand the gravity of the situation for so many of the older guys.

    I am not a Matt Lauer fan but we should get him to make Favre a standard for justice for us all. I know that our good friend Drew Brees will not or Deion…

    Hell gents…that adage deny deny deny until they die may come true because many of us are on the downward side of the scale.

    My best to all this Thanksgiving season…

    Larry Kaminski