Team's net income is $3.75 million

Rising personnel costs and the Lambeau Field renovation were two of the major reasons why the Green Bay Packers earned less then they did in the previous fiscal year. Still, the Packers reported a net income of $3.75 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31.<p>

The Packers ranked 20th of 31 NFL teams in NFL revenue for 2001. Green Bay was ranked 18th last year and has fallen among other teams since it ranked ninth in fiscal 1997-98 (the year after it won Super Bowl XXXI).

The Packers, the only publicly owned major sports franchise in America, earned 33% less than it did in the previous fiscal year when its net income was $5.632 million.

The team's cash reserves continue to dwindle. The Packers reported cash reserves of $61.6 million, but $24.7 million has been set aside for deferred salaries of players, coaches and executives, according to team treasurer John Underwood. That leaves the Packers with a cash reserve of $36.9 million, down from $40.7 million last year.

"What we found is that we had some improved performance in some categories, but at the same time we fell further behind everyone else," Underwood told "The good news is I can look you in the eye and tell you that we're going to preserve this story, the greatest story in professional sports, for at least another generation, but we couldn't do it without the Lambeau Field redevelopment."

The $295 million stadium renovation is scheduled to be finished prior to the start of 2003 season. It will feature about 10,000 more general reserved seats, luxury boxes and club seats. A 365-day a year venue, the Packers also will reap non-shared revenue through its Packers Pro Shop sales, the Packer Hall of Fame and through other marketing efforts.

Green Bay's operating income was an all-time high of $132 million for fiscal 2002. The reported operating income in fiscal 2001 was $117.951 million.

This week the franchise will distribute to Packers shareholders its annual report of the 2001-02 fiscal year, which ended March 31. The report will detail an operating profit of $3.2 million, up from a profit of $2.7 million last year and a $419,000 loss in 2000. The overall performance of the team as reflected in net income before expansion revenue dropped from $5.6 million in 2001 to $3.7 million in 2002, a 33 percent decline.

The annual shareholder's meeting is set for 10 a.m. July 23 at the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena.

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