Quote Originally Posted by Coastergenius View Post
In the NFL, all TV revenue is split, all merchandise revenue is split (it is in the MLB too BTW, sorry Yankee fans), and nearly every team sells out their stadium (and such a small amount of money comes from ticket sales).

Revenue sharing is as big or bigger as a factor in keeping the competitive balance.

Some numbers: Let's say the Ravens average ticket price is $100. Times 10 games and 70,000 fans, that works out to $70 million. The new TV contract is worth $3 billion a year, or almost $100 million per team. So that means the Ravens are making $170 million, and we can assume that other teams are probably between $140 million and $200 million a year in tickets and TV.

By contrast, the Yankees get $400 million in revenue every year FROM THE YES NETWORK ALONE. They make another $325 million in tickets sales. (Source: http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/33/...es_334613.html) Meanwhile the Pittsburgh Pirates do not own a TV network, and make $35 million a year in ticket sales.

So in rough numbers, the richest NFL team makes about 45% more than the poorest team in tickets and TV revenue combined. In MLB, the richest team makes almost 2,000% -- twenty times -- more than the poorest.

So while it's nice that the NFL has legislated how much you are allowed to pay, the more effective regulator is that they have created a system where everyone has roughly the same about of income every year. The only way removing the salary cap would have a huge impact in the competitive balance would be if some Saudi prince bought a team and was willing to throw away a crapload of dough to buy himself a Lombardi.

And even then, the draft is effective in the NFL in leveling the playing field (unlike in MLB, where the richer teams also have more and better scouts, developmental facilities, and draft picks are much more miss than hit.) Careers are short in the NFL. Aside from a few positions, most notably QB, by the time a player becomes established as a very good player, they only have a few more years to play at that level.