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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Revenue sharing adds to Rams' bottom line

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Mar. 30 2007

    PHOENIX Just 12 years ago, with a new stadium and a sweetheart of a stadium
    lease, the Rams were the financial envy of the National Football League.

    Boy, have times changed.

    In 1995, the first year for the Rams in St. Louis, club president John Shaw
    said, "We were either second or third in revenue."

    And in recent years? "Somewhere between 22nd and 24th," Shaw replied. "Under
    the new program, we qualify as a revenue-sharing recipient."

    That's right, things have reached the point financially for the Rams where they
    are now being subsidized by the more prosperous teams in the league. The final
    touch on this revenue-sharing system was approved Monday when a resolution was
    approved at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

    Shaw estimates the Rams will receive $5 million this year under the subsidy
    program, with the figure based on 2006 finances. The league's top revenue clubs
    will provide a pool of $430 million to be distributed to the lower-revenue
    clubs over the next four years, or based on annual team revenues between 2006
    and 2009.

    "I thought the resolution was a compromise," Shaw said. "We were happy with it."

    The Rams voted in favor of the revenue-sharing proposal.

    "But I think the system is such that it's hard," Shaw said. "The disparity
    between local revenues is an issue that has to be addressed in our system."

    Network-television money is shared equally among the 32 NFL teams. That revenue
    sharing has allowed the game to thrive, and kept small-market teams such as
    Green Bay and Buffalo afloat. But over the past decade or so, the amount of
    local revenue money not shared with the rest of the league has grown
    dramatically.

    Shaw said the difference in local revenue between the most prosperous NFL team
    and the least prosperous club has grown to $110 million per year.

    "Local revenue primarily is defined as stadium revenue, tickets, suites, club
    seats, concessions, parking, advertising and local radio and TV," Shaw said.

    So what has happened to the Rams' financially that has caused them to tumble
    from the top five in the league to the bottom third? Has the Golden Goose died,
    retired, left town?

    "I think a lot of people would like the St. Louis lease," Shaw said. "And I
    think there have been a number of instances (of leases) after us that are
    similar to the St. Louis lease. But having the lease is still a little bit
    different than local revenue."

    Shaw is generally considered one of the brightest economic minds in the NFL.
    But even he didn't foresee the boom in stadium construction in the NFL since
    what is now called the Edward Jones Dome opened in 1995.

    Since 1995, 18 clubs have either built new stadiums or undergone massive
    stadium-renovation projects. In addition, the New York Giants, New York Jets,
    Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys are in the process of building stadiums.

    It's not that the Edward Jones Dome is outdated, but the new stadiums have more
    luxury boxes and more club seats. And those new stadiums are charging more for
    premium seats. For example, the average price of a luxury suite at the Edward
    Jones Dome is about $75,000. That's only about half of what the average suite
    costs annually in new stadiums built for large-market teams.

    The large-market teams charge more because they can. And in some cases, because
    they have to. Unlike the Rams, large-market teams such as Philadelphia and New
    England used a lot of their own money to build new stadiums. So they've got to
    charge more to take care of the stadium-financing debt.

    Even so, those teams are raking in considerably more local revenue, making the
    growing disparity in local revenue a major issue between the large-market and
    small-market teams. If the trend continues, the revenue-sharing proposal
    approved Monday will be a mere Band-Aid to the problem.

    "We don't have that category of revenue," Shaw said. "We have a terrific lease.
    But we're missing the parking element, which could be $5 million to $10
    million. Our (local) media dollars what we get for radio and television is
    clearly at the bottom of the league."

    But the stadium boom appears to be slowing. And although not any time soon, the
    Rams will have the opportunity to catch up with at least some of the teams in
    the NFL via stadium improvements at the Dome or a new stadium.

    "Our time will come around again at some point," Shaw said.


  2. #2
    MoonJoe's Avatar
    MoonJoe is offline Ram MVP
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    Re: Revenue sharing adds to Rams' bottom line

    How long is their lease for? I just may be able to find a little land in Anaheim for them....

  3. #3
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Revenue sharing adds to Rams' bottom line

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonJoe View Post
    How long is their lease for? I just may be able to find a little land in Anaheim for them....
    I think they would be better off in SD County Joe.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  4. #4
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Revenue sharing adds to Rams' bottom line

    So, they raise ticket prices AND get a subsidy. I guess Deion Sanders is right.....

    "It's all about MY money"

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