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Saturday, September 29, 2012
How much did replacement refs cost?

By Darren Rovell

We all know how much credibility the replacement refs cost the NFL. But how much did it actually cost the league?

There were a total of 135 replacement officials hired. Seventeen of them were head referees and were paid $3,500 for each game ($28,000, including four preseason games and payment for this week, even though they won't work). The rest of the crews, which included 94 officials, were paid $3,000 a game or $24,000 for the eight games.

Then there were 24 alternates, who were paid $2,000 a game, for a total of $16,000 per alternate ref.

That's $3,116,000, and that doesn't even account for clinics the leagues put them through, the $2.5 million bonus they gave the regular referees upon returning and the concessions the league had to make on officials' pensions.