An 18-game schedule only works if owners share the revenue

The NFL logo on the field during the Dallas Cowboys 35-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Texas Stadium on November 23,2008 Photo via Newscom

Reports have surfaced today that NFL owners support going to an 18-game schedule, but want the change to be implemented as part of the new labor agreement.

That’s great news for fans, which have made the NFL the most popular sport in the country. That’s also great news for the owners, who will get addition revenue from the expanded schedule.

But this idea will only work if the players get a see a cut of the revenue that will be generated by adding two more regular season games.

In the end, money talks and it’s unsurprisingly the main sticking point between the owners and the players union when it comes to the new labor agreement. The owners want the players to take a pay cut because of the economy, but before the union agrees on anything, it rightfully wants to see how much profit the owners have made over the last year. After all, if the owners are still generating a profit, then why should the players have to take a pay cut?

The owners can’t get their way across the board – they have to compromise. They can’t generate an annual profit, force the players to take a pay cut, add two more games to the regular season (which increases the players’ risk of injuries and future health problems) and then keep the additional revenue that they make off the new schedule. That’s ridiculous. I could see if the owners were taking a bath while players’ salaries continue to go up, but it stands to reason that the owners are making plenty of money when they’re charging upwards for $100 per ticket, $30 to park and $8.50 for a beer.

Trust me, I’m not losing sleep at night thinking about how these million dollar athletes are getting screwed. But keeping things in context, the players would be getting a raw deal if the league expanded the schedule and the owners didn’t share the revenue. Everybody is making money in the NFL – this is no time for the owners to be greedy. Plus, the players are the ones putting themselves at risk of injury – shouldn’t they be compensated?

If the owners do share the generated revenue, then it’s hard to see people not being on board for an 18-game season. It would equate to more money for the players and owners, and more football for fans. Everybody wins.

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