The folks over at Sports Business Daily have been closely following the ongoing negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA. In a compilation of articles regarding negotiations, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal specifically mentions the Buffalo Bills in her analysis of one potential change that could have a negative impact on the shared revenues the Bills receive.
In an article regarding potential changes as to how the salary cap could be determined, Mullen notes that the NFLPA (important because it's not the owners suggesting the change) has proposed a plan to take a portion of stadium moneys out of the cap calculations. In the past, the salary cap was set using a percentage based on "football revenue". That has included everything from jersey and merchandise sales to tickets at the game.
But that could be changing, as owners with brand new stadiums want a bigger piece of their stadium pie. This only makes sense, really. If you spend a few hundred million dollars on a stadium, you want to make your money back, not split it with other owners. Under the current agreement, owners that build stadiums to grow revenue were given some exemptions, but under the new proposal, they would be given an additional exemption.
As an example of this change, Mullen cites the Dallas Cowboys as a high revenue club and the Bills as a low revenue organization.
"For example, the source said, outlining the plan in broad generalities, if a high-revenue club like the Cowboys built a stadium, they would share less revenue with a low-revenue club, like the Bills, than they would have had to share if they had not built the stadium."
One other note Mullen outlines is a continuation of the shared revenue plan by which the five highest-revenue teams share money with the five lowest.
So how does this directly affect the Bills? If high revenue clubs that are building stadiums to increase revenue don't have to contribute as much to the shared revenue pot in the NFL, teams that benefit from that shared revenue like the Bills and other small market teams won't have as big a pot to divide. That's the short-term look. The source specifically mentions that teams must be making investments that "grow revenue". If the NFL revenue grows because of the investments, these high revenue owners make the shared revenue pot grow faster than it would have otherwise. That benefits the owners, who make more money, and the players, who now have a bigger owners' pot to negotiate from.
The NFL, led by commissioner Roger Goodell, has stated they are not happy with the proposal, but have not offered a proposal since Thanksgiving according to NFLPA President Kevin Mawae. There is nothing imminent in negotiations, as the NFL's owners' meetings concluded yesterday.