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Vikings a big loser in revenue sharing news

12/6/2009

If you follow Minnesota’s revenue and stadium situation, be sure to check out this report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

In short, the NFL plans to halt the supplemental revenue sharing program that has aided the Vikings as much as any other team since it was instituted in 2007. Assuming the league follows through on its plans, the Vikings will lose between $5 million and $10 million in annual revenue.

There are two separate revenue sharing plans in the NFL. By far, the most significant is the one that shares television and other broadcast revenue. Each team receives more than $100 million per year from that fund.

The supplemental program was created to maintain competitive balance between teams that have new stadiums and those that don’t. (Local revenue from individual stadiums was not previously shared.) Put simply, the NFL’s 15 highest-revenue franchises contributed a total of $100 million each year to a fund that distributes cash to the others.

The Vikings, who have played in the Metrodome since 1982, have the second-lowest stadium revenues in the NFL. That qualifies them for the second-highest total in the supplemental revenue sharing program.

Losing up to $10 million in annual revenue won’t put the Vikings in bankruptcy. But this change would demonstrate that NFL owners are less interested in subsidizing teams who have below-average stadium deals.