The Green Bay Packers announced record financial results on Friday as fans returned to NFL stadiums in full force after the COVID-disrupted 2020 season. The team’s total revenue for the 12 months ending March was $579 million, surpassing the previous record of $507 million in 2019.
Local revenue soared to $232m from $62m as an average of 78,000 fans – the second highest in professional football – attended games at Lambeau Field, after no fans licensed in 2020. Local revenue is generated from tickets, luxury suites, sponsorships and merchandise. It was $211 million in 2019 in the NFL’s smallest market, which far exceeds its weight in the league’s financial hierarchy, thanks to a passionate fanbase and rich heritage as a franchise. Team president Mark Murphy said the Packers typically rank eighth through tenth in local revenue.
National income was $347 million, up 12% from $309 million a year earlier. Sportico reported last week that NFL teams have also distributed $11.1 billion of domestic media rights, league sponsorships and shared revenue and royalties. Shared money represents more than 60% of the NFL’s total revenue.
The league’s media deals with ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC make up the bulk of 50-50 revenue, but teams benefited from sponsor revenue, which rose 23%, according to sponsor tracking firm IEG. . It will easily top $400 million when the NFL’s next round of television deals kicks off in 2023.
“The scenario for our finances from a year ago is back to normal,” Murphy said on a Zoom call discussing the results.
The Packers posted a record operating profit of $77.7 million with fans returning to Lambeau. Lower local revenue in 2020 resulted in a loss of $38.8 million. The previous record of $75 million was for the 2015 season.
The Packers are the only public non-profit corporation in the NFL. The club completed its sixth stock sale in February, selling shares for $300 each. It added 176,000 new shareholders and raised $64.7 million to fund ongoing construction projects at Lambeau Field, including new video panels and hall improvements. The sale brought the total number of shareholders to 539,000, with 17% based in Wisconsin. Shares do not appreciate, do not pay dividends and cannot be resold.
“Maintaining our stadium as a premier facility that serves as a year-round destination contributes to the enduring success of the franchise and our community,” Murphy said when announcing the results of the sale.
The team’s rainy day fund stood at more than $500 million at the start of the year, but fell to $440 million with the stock market tumult. Murphy said the team has invested $467 million in stadium-related projects since 2011, including its Titletown mixed-use development.
In March, the Packers lost to the Detroit Lions to host the 2024 NFL Draft. Murphy said the team would bid for the 2025 and 2027 draft.
Sportico valued the team at $3.51 billion last year, 15th in the NFL.