Pulse Price Report: The Business of Football

The Green Bay Packers are the only franchise in the National Football League (NFL) that is a nonprofit and publicly owned, divvying up 5,011,557 shares to 360,584 stockholders, as of 2015. It’s a point of pride for cheeseheads and it’s probably the only reason that Green Bay, the smallest market in all of North American professional sports, was able to keep its team.

But elsewhere in the NFL, as the draft takes place this weekend, the corporate side of the league is looking to expand its market like any other competitive business in the world.

The NFL functions as a trade association made of up 32 member teams whose product is football. The revenues made from each team support not only the players and staff on that team, but also the administrators of the league in general, including commissioner Roger Goodell, who made $34.1 million in 2014.

But the disclosure of the league office’s salaries came to an end in 2015, when the NFL gave up its nonprofit status. Now, the administrators of the league do not have to report their earnings.

But when the NFL pushed back against stricter salary reporting in 2008, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says that there can be public interest in disclosing salaries to ensure they do not become excessive. When they are secret, the incentive to increase the bottom line out of view from the public eye can encourage some changes in the structure of the business.

Many of these changes are quickly being realized. The move of the St. Louis Rams, the third-lowest revenue driving team in the league, to Los Angeles is a move to a bigger market, where the potential for more fans, ticket sales and revenue can send more money into the coffers of league executives. After the San Diego Chargers pushed back against an offer to move to Los Angeles along with the Rams, that offer will now extend to the Oakland Raiders, the second-lowest revenue driving team in the league.

The same threat of moving to a bigger market hit the Buffalo Bills in 2014, when the team was on the market for a new owner and facing potential relocation to Toronto or London. Goodell told Bloomberg News that he sees a team in London in the future, globalizing the league and entering international markets.

But no matter where these teams end up and who gets picked up in the draft this weekend, Titletown will always hold on to the Packers.


Crop prices (April 26)

Rio Creek Feed Mill – Algoma

Commodity Price (per bushel) Basis
Corn $3.32 -0.45
New-Crop Corn $3.38 -0.50
Soybeans $9.35 -0.65
New-Crop Soybeans $9.23 -0.75
Wheat (SRW) $4.003 -0.68


Fox River Valley Ethanol – Green Bay

Corn $3.38/bushel -0.39
New-Crop Corn $3.45/bushel -0.43


Basis: The difference between the local cash price for a commodity and the Chicago cash price (where the Board of Trade sets national futures price).


Gas Price Averages

United States: $2.14

United States one year ago: $2.73

Wisconsin: $2.14

Wisconsin one year ago: $2.43

Northern Door: $2.25

Sturgeon Bay: $2.20


Other Commodities

Gold: $1,242.30/troy ounce

Silver: $17.09/troy ounce

Oil: $44.02/barrel



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