And You- Know – What Runs The Marathon!
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor
NEW YORK CITY (BASN/BASN NEWSROOM): Each NFL post – season leading up to the free agency signing period, mainstream media embraces the fallacy of New York State’s only football team being labeled as a “small market,” – unable to generate the revenue of other larger markets in the NFL.
For the forces seeking to generate a privately funded effort to build a stadium in the Outer Harbor Section of Downtown Buffalo, the issues of money – and whose $$ is going to be spent – apparently needs further clarification…
Every year Forbes Magazine produces the list of the 50 Most Valuable Sports Franchises – in the World. Every team in the League – including those Small Market Buffalo Bills – is included on that list.
The Buffalo Bills ranked 30th in terms of value at $870 million dollars, but in 2013, the team’s value jumped up by 8%. With a guaranteed 1/32 of a multi-billion dollar television pie, any excuse to jack up ticket prices is a spurious one at best!
Now let’s stay on the money because while one can disagree on political philosophy, financial reality hits everyone. Soccer Clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal Football Club are also owned by owners of NFL franchises (the Glazers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kroenkes of the St. Louis Rams).
When the World League of American Football was created in 1990 the atmosphere between the NFL and the European soccer leagues seemed adversarial; the NFL thought they could just walk in and sell hats and give every one third – rate football and folks would love it.
But as market resistance built up, both sides decided through research and reaction to agree to a not – so – silent partnership as WLAF clubs like the Barcelona Dragons would be affiliated with soccer giant FC Barcelona; ultimately the re-formed WLAF in 1995 (later called NFL Europe) was designed with the intent to create a farm system – rather than a souvenir trap.
One aspect of the NFL that the bean counters fail to really harp on is that every NFL city makes Goo Gobs o’ money – without arguably their second or third largest market in Los Angeles – in play!
Imagine Major League Baseball without the Dodgers, and generating the same revenue – never happen, right?
In Canada, the CFL tried for a few years to operate without a Montreal franchise (with no success) and until the America – based Baltimore Stallions were able to relocate to Montreal in the mid 1990s, the league’s financial status was unstable; because their second largest city was not online for revenue sharing (back in Eastern Canada there wasn’t much revenue to share, anyway!)
I say this to remind you how they (League) got to where it is right now; that’s just a taste of what Buffalo would be missing out on due to vacillation and machination equaling aggravation.
With a new stadium, team value increases, opportunities to host NCAA Final Fours (instead of regional affairs) become very real. Jerry Jones in Dallas keeps his billion – dollar playpen humming all year long with mega – concerts, other sporting events and the like.
Oh, and let’s not forget…Super Bowls.
If Buffalo had other possibilities shaping its financial future positively, this may not be as big an issue – but make no mistake; the NFL is IBM, GM, and any other corporate entity Version 2.0. Professional sports franchises, for better or worse, are the life’s blood of a city’s identity; I won’t say they’re ‘too big to fail’ – because they’re making so much cash now that if they do fail – you’d better know the reason why.
Last season, the Bills generated $256 million in revenue; making more net cash than San Francisco (building a brand a new stadium in Santa Clara as I type this) Arizona (hosting the next Super Bowl). Detroit, Kansas City, Saint Louis – all places where a new stadium, no stadium or legal matter hindered the process to getting things done.
Buffalo, in 2013, was 22nd overall in terms of generated revenue – not bad for a “small market…”
One last point on the money – remember when the Detroit Lions lost every game one season? They went 0 – 16; but in spite of a losing record so severe they lost every game that season when Forbes ranked the value of teams, the Detroit Lions were still worth $900 million dollars.
When you have a product so in demand people will pay regardless of how inferior the quality, you have a gangster share of market – in every way imaginable.
This is why the citizens of Western New York need to be politically aware. I don’t need to know anything about football to know that if a group is looking to do what is, for the most part a combination stadium/entertainment complex/public works project with private funding (with no tax hit to its citizenry) that would make far more sense than elected leadership feeding rhetoric to you or me about spending tax dollars on a professional football team without any return (or guarantee of stability) on your investment.
As leaseholder of the Buffalo Bills, Erie County is the only government authority of this group that has taken more than $95 million dollars of taxpayer money to band – aid a crumbling facility in Ralph Wilson Stadium whose shelf life has far exceeded its prime.
Erie County Exec Mark Poloncarz (and whatever lackeys he has operated on his behalf) seem to be bent on ignoring the consensus desire of those advocating support for the project proposal by HKS, Inc. out of Dallas, Texas, as discussed by WUFO 1080 AM ‘The Mix’ Sports Director Pat Freeman on the BASN Radio Show Soul Tree Radio – in the Raw and the BlackAtlhete.net site.
The proposal, if approved, would transform the economic landscape of the region forever. The City of Buffalo would then be in a financial loop which would help it remain self – sustaining as part of a major events rotation rather than a fiefdom run by insignificant, inane, insipid invertebrates.
To be continued…
Always outnumbered…never outgunned.
Copyright © 2014 Michael – Louis Ingram all rights reserved.