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Let’s Dig into the NFL League Office’s Audited Financial Statements, Shall We?

Once again, Deadspin has scooped up some audited financial statements of a sports organization and this time it’s a big fish – the National Football League League Office. Audited by Deloitte, these financial statements (in full on page 2) present the Statement of Financial Condition (I’ll call this the balance sheet to keep things easy), Statement of Activities and Changes in Net Liabilities (going with income statement here), and Statement of Cash Flows with the accompanying notes for the years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009. All right, let’s do this.

The presentation for the balance sheet and income statement is broken out between the NFL League Office, the League’s G-3 Stadium Program with the total of the two making up the third column. Tommy Craggs focuses primarily on the G-3 Stadium Program which he points out is “a matter that lies at the heart of lockout.”

The G-3 Program is interesting because this is how the league has financed the boom of new stadiums in the last year or so. Currently 13 teams are involved in the program for twelve new stadiums (the Jets and the Giants get to share). Here’s the table from Note 5:

It’s pretty amusing to see some of the disparity in this table, most notably the Detroit LionsGreen Bay Packers owing the League a measly $6.9 million while the Jets and Giants owe over $150 million each. The total owed by the two New York teams accounts for over 40% of the total for FYE ’10 (and the principal balance managed to go up for both, the Chiefs being the only other franchise to have this happen). These funds owed to the League compromise for over 80% of their total assets, financed by notes payable that compromise more than three-quarters of the total liabilities. Essentially, the crux of the organization’s balance is in play here. Obviously, the culture of cheap cash in the Aughts was not lost on the ownership and if banks were handing out money left and right, why not take advantage?

Here are the details on the notes payable:

As you can see, the fun ended in 2008, just as things were getting interesting. The League has entered into a half dozen of interest rate swaps to protect themselves with notional amounts of $249 million.

Some other notable items:

• The Game Officials’ Pension Plan (under Note 7) is underfunded by approximately $20 million, although the majority of the benefit payments come between 2016 and 2020.

• Related Parties (Note 8) has plenty to dig through, however one thing that sticks out is under “Other Related Party Transactions” is the $2 million loan made to “a senior executive” in May 2007. As of March 31, 2010 not a cent of this had been paid back and the note states that “In accordance with the terms of an employment agreement” an amendment was made in March 2010.

• The following paragraph under “Other Related Party Transactions” discusses “amended certain terms of an employment agreement with an executive, including certain termination rights.” This executive can request renegotiation “following ratification of a new CBA agreement [repetitive?].” If a new employment deal cannot be reached, the executive can execute termination rights for approximately $19 million which is equivalent to two years compensation. Just spitballin’ here but it wouldn’t be a stretch to conclude that this part of Roger Goodell’s deal.

• Hilariously, under “Litigation” the matter of Richardson et al. v. NFL et al. we find that Drug Program Agents (i.e. guys who collect cups of piss) sued the NFL and several of its affiliates for treating them as independent contractors as opposed to employees. This was filed in 2007 but in 2008, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint for “typographical errors” but the complaint didn’t change. In other words, the plaintiffs’ lawyers didn’t use spellcheck. Ultimately the claims were dismissed in 2009 against the NFL but a settlement was reached between the NFL Management Council and the piss collectors.

WHEW! Lots of good stuff in there, so enjoy over the weekend. Deadspin is promising more “documents from a different arm of the NFL,” so hopefully we’ll see more pieces of this. Stay tuned!