Retired FinHeaven Staff
- Aug 13, 2003
- Reaction score
- 120 mi west of Costa Rica
What would you say if state lawmakers gave $350 million to the New York Jets that would jeopardize the existence of the Buffalo Bills? How would you react if your tax dollars were being used to contribute to the eventual departure of the pro sports franchise vital to Western New York's identity?
Beware, Bills fans. It might happen any day now.
What does this mean for the Bills? As you may have read two weeks ago, owner Ralph Wilson is concerned about where the NFL is headed. The collective bargaining agreement with the players' association ends after the 2007 season. The players are seeking a share of heretofore untapped revenues, revenues teams aren't mandated to share among themselves. Franchises at the high end of the scale are opposed to divvying up the individual pots. That means that in the next CBA the Bills likely would take a heavier hit than the teams making more money. And that makes it less attractive for the Bills to remain in Buffalo when it comes time to settle Wilson's estate.
Wilson says there are eight to 10 teams that are steadfastly opposed to greater revenue sharing. The Jets, if they get their Taj Mahal of a stadium, are sure to expand the list. A move to Manhattan will mean an increase in the team's unshared revenues, which include luxury suites, club suites, advertising and sponsorships. There's a good chance they'll vault from 22nd in revenue (one spot ahead of the Bills) into the top 10. So the Jets, who might previously have welcomed wider revenue sharing, are likely to have a change of heart. And theirs could be a pivotal vote.
Approval from 24 of 32 teams is required for the NFL to amend its revenue-sharing formula. Seven teams currently have revenues of $183 million or higher, an $8 million spread over the next team on the list. If the Jets catapult into the upper echelon, that's eight votes against and a lost ally in Wilson's effort to balance the system. One more vote and the move for change is defeated, leaving the Bills at a competitive disadvantage that could undermine their bottom line.
If that's the case, and you're a business person who someday buys the Bills, relocating the team becomes more probable than improbable. Aren't you glad your tax dollars are at work?