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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Bisciotti Opens Pandora's Box


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For months, the NFLPA has been asking the league to explain the basis for its desire to change the financial terms of the current labor deal.


For months, the NFL has tried to create the impression that teams are losing money without saying that teams are losing money.


The reason for the high-stakes high-wire act is simple -- if the league claims that teams are not making money, the league might be forced to disclose comprehensive financial information regarding the individual franchises.


On Wednesday, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti gave the union its clearest piece of evidence to support an attempt to compel full financial disclosure. Per the Associated Press, Bisciotti said during a season-ending press conference that several owners are facing financial shortfalls that could create "long-term problems for the league," and he reportedly "insisted" that several teams are struggling to finish in the black.


Annnnnnd that's why the NFL fined Cowboys Jerry Jones $100,000 in September.


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Here's what Bisciotti said...with a Dick Cass addition...


In regards to the CBA, what can you say to the people in Baltimore who scrape together dollars to support the team, and who can’t understand how so much money can’t be divided to the contingent of parties involved?


(BISCIOTTI) “You know, as far as the fans go, I know that… This is a horrible part of any business, but when you have fans involved that are committed to it, then yes, I’m sensitive to it. But I’ve got partners out there right now whose teams are making less money than their linebackers. And so, I think we’ve got an acute problem here with the general profitability of the teams. We always knew this was not a big cash flow business, but when you’ve got guys like Jacksonville [Jaguars] tarping up 10,000 seats to stop blackouts, when you’ve got teams that are voluntarily staying at the minimum of what they have to spend on the salary cap in order to not go upside down financially, then we already have a structural problem. So, I don’t expect the fans to take… I don’t know what side that the fans are going to take. You know, three years ago if we hadn’t done the deal, we would have forced the players to strike. And you would argue that then the fans would take their anger out on the players. We did a deal, and we did a bad deal, and we didn’t understand it at the level that we needed to, and the implications that it was going to have. And obviously by the time we did [realize the implications], we were already into the deal. So, that puts us in the unenviable position of this thing ending in a lockout as opposed to a strike. And I certainly bet that most of the anger is going to go towards the owners. But, I’ve seen the St. Louis [Rams] up for sale for a year and a half, and I think they started at $900 million. I think that they’re now looking at somebody to buy them for $600 million, and the reason is because there’s no cash flow. So, if we don’t get this thing back to the point that the teams can all cash flow enough, that they can go into a bank and look at a statement and say, ‘That’s a solidly-run business,’ – not team – then there are long-term problems for the league. And unfortunately, we’re going to have to address that, and it’s going to cause some pain for a lot of us, maybe.”


How is business for the Ravens?


(CASS) “In terms of the Baltimore Ravens, in terms of where we are in business, we’re doing fine. We’ve been able to sell all of our tickets, we’ve been able to sell our suites, [and] sponsorship dollars are basically flat. So, we’re doing well compared to other teams around the league. But again, I’m focusing on revenues, not expenses. Just because we’re still doing well in revenues doesn’t mean we’re generating a lot of profit, because we do spend a lot of money as well.”



That link has the complete transcript of the press conference.

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