Non-Profit Football League?

The NFL may be the most popular sports league in the country (if not the world), but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been receiving its fair share of double coverage from the media lately.

This week’s episode of Frontline, “League of Denial,” looks at “the NFL’s concussion crisis.” And this month’s issue of The Atlantic includes Gregg Easterbrook’s article “How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers,” based on Easterbrook’s new book, The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America. (Spoiler alert: it’s mostly bad.) Easterbrook’s excellent article explains how “taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn’t apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year.”

The Atlantic article is filled with many eye-popping, stomach-turning stats, but this one stands out among them:

“Judith Grant Long, a Harvard University professor of urban planning, calculates that league-wide, 70 percent of the capital cost of NFL stadiums has been provided by taxpayers, not NFL owners. Many cities, counties, and states also pay the stadiums’ ongoing costs, by providing power, sewer services, other infrastructure, and stadium improvements.”

(Read on at Free Sport…)

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