As the only publicly-owned major sports franchise in North America, the Green Bay Packers are in a unique position each year to give a look into the inner financial workings of sports teams and of course football teams in particular. The 2020 fiscal year was a good one for the Packers and the other 31 teams in the NFL, as the team detailed in calls with media members.
Matt Schneidman of The Athletic tweeted out the details of the Packers’ 2020 financials, which include the following highlights:
- Record total revenues of approximately $507 million
- National revenue of $296 million (an amount that all 32 teams receive equally) and local revenues of $210.9 million
- $40 million less in expenses than in 2019
- A massive increase in operating profits from under $1 million in 2019 to over $70 million in 2020
Several factors went in the Packers’ favor in 2020. First, the league as a whole saw another increase in national revenue due to increases in television broadcasting money. Local revenues likely increased in part due to the Packers hosting a playoff game, bringing additional ticket sales and associated game-day money into the franchise. Meanwhile, expenses were down in large part because of a quieter free agency period; 2019 saw the addition of Preston and Za’Darius Smith, Adrian Amos, and Billy Turner, who received a combined $59 million in signing bonus money, while the team spent far less in 2020.
All of those factors combined to drive the increase in profits. According to SI.com’s Bill Huber, the $70 million number ranks as the second-biggest profit year on record for the team, which brought in about $75 million in 2016.
The Packers will need to lean on that surplus during the 2020 season and 2021 fiscal year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the team hosting no fans for any potential preseason games and fan attendance limited at regular season games, local revenues should be significantly lower than in past years. National revenue should continue to increase if the league is able to play its full regular season schedule, but that is unlikely to come close to making up the money lost due to the drop in local revenues.
The Packers will detail more of the financial information during the franchise’s virtual shareholders meeting. That event is set for 11:00 AM Central Time on Thursday, July 23rd and will be broadcast via webcast through a link available to shareholders.