New television contracts and the opening of the new Packers Pro Shop sent the Green Bay Packers’ revenue to record levels.
In financial figures provided ahead of next week’s shareholders meeting, the Packers’ profit from operations was $39.4 million for fiscal-year 2015 – a 53.9 percent increase from last year. That comes on the strength of record national and local revenue and a decrease in player costs.
|Statement of Income||F-Y 2015||F-Y 2014||Change||Percent Change|
|Profit from operations||$39.4M||$25.6M||+$13.8M||53.9%|
“We feel we’re in a position to continue to be in a strong position to invest in the team, the facility, the fan experience, community and ensure that we’re successful stewards for the future,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said on Monday.
National revenue, which soared a whopping $38.7 million, made up 60 percent of the team’s total revenue. That’s a healthy situation, Murphy said, because of the league’s revenue-sharing plan. Of the increase in local revenue, Murphy said half of it came from the expanded Pro Shop. The new Pro Shop opened for business in July.
Expenses soared, too, though much of that is purely accounting, due to depreciation. Player costs went from $171 million to $159 million. Those tend to be cyclical in nature, Murphy noted, pointing to the contract extensions for Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, which included more than $55 million in signing bonuses, showing up on last year’s fiscal statement. Costs will rise again next fiscal-year due to the free-agent re-signings of Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga.
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“So what are we doing with all these profits?” Murphy said. “We’re investing in the players, we’re investing in the team, also investing in the stadium and really trying to make sure that Lambeau continues to be state of the art. It’s a little bit of a balancing act because what makes it special is its history and the tradition, but I think fans expect the modern technology. Over the last five years, the real focus has been on the fan experience.”
After updating the sound system, installing new video boards and adding three new gates in past years, and upgrading the WiFi for the upcoming season, the next project will be updating the suites.
“It will be roughly $55 million,” Murphy said. “A number of different upgrades. The suites really haven’t had a significant upgrade since 2003, so this is something we’re really excited about. The biggest change – and this is the biggest complaint we get from our suite holders – is we’re going to add operable windows so that all of the suites will have windows that open up. I think the fans really want to feel that they’re connected with the game, so that will be the biggest improvement there.”
The never-ending search for new revenue streams is all about keeping the team fiscally competitive, Murphy said. In fiscal-years 2013 and 2014, the Packers finished ninth in the league in revenue. The Packers’ standing for fiscal-year 2015 won’t be known for a few months but the club remains on a strong financial footing.
“First and foremost, you’ve got to be successful on the field,” Murphy said. “You can do all you want with promotions and business strategies but we always take the view that the most important priority is being competitive and competing for championships. For the last five, six years, we’ve been in a legitimate position where we can say we can contend for a Super Bowl. I think that is important to our fans.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.