It has been nearly five months since the Packers were crowned Super Bowl champions and the NFL began the strenuous task of re-negotiating the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
NFL and NBA seasons in limbo
It has been nearly five months since the Packers were crowned Super Bowl champions and the NFL began the strenuous task of re-negotiating the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). While time has now become a major factor in the push towards attaining a new CBA for the National Football League, the same urgency isn’t quite as apparent for the National Basketball Association.
Both lockouts were instated after the expiration of the CBA at the end of each sport’s respective season and now that the NFL’s pre-season approaches, deals are being made to avoid the nearly one billion dollars in revenue that could be lost in the absence of four pre-season games. Although the owners and players of both leagues are dealing with a variety of issues, there is one common root to all the negotiations, and that root is money.
The most recent CBA for the NFL divided the nearly nine billions dollars of revenue made each year, with around 53 percent going to players and 47 percent to owners. An automatic one billion dollars was handed to owners before the revenue was split to help with stadium funds, maintenance and other costs. This time around the owners want more, claiming they are losing money (though they are unwilling to release the exact figures of their profits from last season). The changes asked for in this CBA include a longer 18-game regular season, a rookie wage scale and a program to benefit retired or injured players.
However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, as the NFL is feeling the pressure of losing games from their upcoming season, which is helping to push negotiations forward. The first scheduled game of the pre-season is set for August 7, when St. Louis and Chicago play the Hall of Fame game, and the league has targeted July 22 as the deadline date to get discussions done.
For the NBA, new CBA negotiations aren’t looking quite as bright. A work stoppage hasn’t occurred since the 1998–99 NBA season, when only 50 games were played. This time around, team owners want a hard salary cap, meaning players would take a pay cut and not receive preferred, long-term contracts. All of this is part of an attempt to balance out the powerful and much larger markets that are attracting big names as well as most of the revenue for the league. It was noted that 22 of 30 teams in the NBA would lose money under the CBA that was instated in 2005. For the NBA there is trouble looming ahead, as the recent attempts at negotiations only pointed out the distance between players and owners on how revenue should be split. The sides will begin talks again the week of July 11–15.
Either way, for the second time in history, two major professional sports leagues are in jeopardy of cancelling their upcoming seasons. While many fans are understandably concerned, they are also uninformed about many of details of the negotiations and ultimately have no choice but to sit in the dark and wait. ?