Not so fast, Jerry. Although the revenue-sharing program is on hold due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement, it isn't completely dead. A dispute filed by the NFL Players Association as to how the funds would be distributed was rejected by Special Master Stephen Burbank Thursday. Burbank upheld the NFL's implementation of the supplemental revenue-sharing program, which was adopted along with the 2006 amended collective bargaining agreement. Burbank rejected the union claim challenging the NFL's application of the qualifiers used to determine how the supplemental revenue sharing funds have been distributed to NFL teams.
The ruling means that there has been no shortfall in the distribution of the funds, which was one of the union's claims. The revenue sharing program will average approximately $107 million from each of the seasons in which the most recent CBA was in place (2006-09). Considering that the 32 teams are expected to share about $6.5 billion this year, that $107 million is a relatively insignificant amount.
The special master's ruling has helped clear up the revenue-sharing concept for the previous four years, but with no salary cap there will be no revenue sharing this year, which will make things a little tougher for those teams, like the Vikings, that don't have big revenue streams generated by their stadiums. While a new CBA will eventually be hammered out and a new salary cap may well be imposed, don't look for revenue sharing among the big revenue-producing teams and the lower-producing teams to return. It has helped the teams without older stadiums that don't produce the kind of revenue like the Taj Mahal-type stadiums teams like the Cowboys have, but those days appear to be done – both now and for the future.