Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

NFL Lockout Could Cost $160 Million, 115,000 Jobs

December 3rd, 2010 | James Parks

Image: James ParksIf the National Football League owners lock out the players next season, not only will millions of fans not have games to watch on Sunday afternoon, but more than 115,000 jobs could be lost, according to a new study.

The 32 NFL teams employ on average 3,739 people each, including players, concession workers and office staff. If the lockout lasts a long time, layoffs are likely and many of those jobs would not come back, said Jesse David, senior vice president of the economic consulting firm Edgeworth Economics, who conducted a study of the impact of a lockout for the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). Check out a summary of the study here.

Not only are the players affected, but the jobs of more than 25,000 concession workers at stadiums across the country are threatened by the lockout. (See video above.)

In a telephone press conference this morning, David and NFLPA official George Atallah said each NFL home game generates on average $20 million for the team and the community. A lockout could cost each of the 32 NFL cities. as much as $160 million, they said.

“A lockout would have an impact beyond the players,” Atallah said.

We want to raise public consciousness of the effect [on communities] if the owners lock out the players.

The NFLPA has joined with the other workers in the stadiums and the rest of the union movement to fight management’s greed. Last month, the NFLPA announced that its members will fully affiliate with all AFL-CIO state federations and the central labor councils where their NFL teams are based.

The owners terminated the collective bargaining agreement two years ago because, they say, it isn’t working for them. But they refuse to provide audited financial information to explain what is wrong in a business that generated $9 billion in 2009 during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The owners are demanding that the players give back $1 billion, although not one team has lost money. They also want players to pay for team travel and the cost of running practice facilities.

On top of that, the owners have threatened to make the players pay for their own health care in case of a lockout. As it is, management provides only five years of health care coverage after players retire. Players’ NFL careers average only 3.4 years and many retire with a range of serious health problems. Not many people would argue that facing a 325-pound lineman running at full speed over and over could be dangerous to your health

This article was originally posted on AFL-CIO Now Blog.

About the Author: James Parks had his first encounter with unions at Gannett’s newspaper in Cincinnati when his colleagues in the newsroom tried to organize a unit of The Newspaper Guild. He is a journalist by trade, and worked for newspapers in five different states before joining the AFL-CIO staff in 1990. His proudest career moment, though, was when he served, along with other union members and staff, as an official observer for South Africa’s first multiracial elections. Author photo by Joe Kekeris

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3 Responses to “NFL Lockout Could Cost $160 Million, 115,000 Jobs”

  1. Charles J Read Says:

    James:

    The players minimum salary for 2011 is $325,000.00. The maximun is in the tens of millions of dollars. To play a game on Sunday.

    If they want more I suggest they start a “League of Their Own”. There are other stasdiums that would love to have the business in every city. Let them start the PAFL (Players Association Football League). Let them put up millions for guarenteed contracts. Pay the players what ever they want and gouge the fans for multi hundred dollar ticket prices and $25.00 beer. The fans won’t mind, maybe.

    Hell, if the union does it now they may get the Obama administration to gut the owners like it did to the auto industry. Ignore legal rights of the bond holders and stock holders (owners) and give ownership to the workers union(players) to buy their votes and contributions.

    Have the Union withhold 10% of players new higher salaries for political contributions and Obama might be able to buy the election in 2012.

    Regards,

    Charles

  2. The NFL Lockout, Ochocinco, and Greed | The ASU Sports & Entertainment Law Blog Says:

    [...] Sometimes, there are more important things than money.  In the 1919 case of Dodge v. Ford Motor Company, the Dodge brothers brought suit against Henry Ford for failing to share Ford’s substantial corporate profits with its shareholders.   Ford himself had the crazy idea that, instead of cashing out on the company’s tremendous success, he wanted “to employ still more men, to spread the benefits of this industrial system to the greatest possible number, to help them build up their lives and their homes. To do this we are putting the greatest share of our profits back in the business.”  It’s almost as if the NFL and the players’ association read about Henry Ford and thought, “Hey, let’s just do the exact opposite.” [...]

  3. The NFL Lockout, Ochocinco, and Greed | The Sports & Entertainment Law Blog Says:

    [...] Sometimes, there are more important things than money.  In the 1919 case of Dodge v. Ford Motor Company, the Dodge brothers brought suit against Henry Ford for failing to share Ford’s substantial corporate profits with its shareholders.   Ford himself had the crazy idea that, instead of cashing out on the company’s tremendous success, he wanted “to employ still more men, to spread the benefits of this industrial system to the greatest possible number, to help them build up their lives and their homes. To do this we are putting the greatest share of our profits back in the business.”  It’s almost as if the NFL and the players’ association read about Henry Ford and thought, “Hey, let’s just do the exact opposite.” [...]

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