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Mawae asks Patterson and Cuomo for help Dan Leberfeld

Press Release from NFLPA –

With 100 days until the expiration of the agreement that determines how NFL revenue is distributed, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) today wrote to Governor David A. Paterson, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to warn that New York could see more than $160 million in lost jobs and revenue if the owners forego negotiating in good faith and opt to cancel the 2011 football season.

In these letters, NFLPA President Kevin Mawae said the players want to keep playing and are happy to keep the current agreement in place but warned that the owners are taking steps to cancel the 2011 season.  The NFLPA asked Paterson, Cuomo and Bloomberg to consider the economic impact of a 2011 lockout by the owners and to stress to Giants Owner John Mara and Jets Owner Woody Johnson the importance of engaging in good faith negotiations with the NFLPA. 

“During one of the worst economies since the Great Depression, NFL owners are preparing to cancel the 2011 season and, in the process, devastate New York businesses and stadium workers who count on football Sundays to make ends meet,” Mawae said.  “It is our hope that the owners will shelve this plan and negotiate in good faith to ensure that we are playing for the fans in 2011.”

Although the players have agreed to move forward with the current agreement, the NFL owners appear to be taking steps to lock out the players and fans when the collective bargaining agreement expires on March 4. The owners have secured nearly $4 billion in guaranteed television network payments even if they lock out the players and games are not played in the 2011-12 season.  Owners will continue to thrive financially at the expense of serious job losses in New York and major lost tax revenue. 

Despite the worst economic conditions in generations, professional football has continued to generate billions of dollars in income to thousands of workers at Meadowlands Stadium and the surrounding communities who rely upon this business to support their families.  In the last fifteen years, NFL team values have increased more than 500 percent.  Today, teams are worth on average about $1 billion and have enjoyed uninterrupted financial gains since the 1960s.

Though the economic benefits of professional football are clear, NFL owners chose to opt out early from the current CBA while refusing to provide detailed financial information to the players to justify the owners’ position that the current CBA is “not working” for them.