In small sports markets across the country, fans can be heard grumbling at ownership for not investing enough in their teams to win. Being in Kansas City as a lifelong Chiefs and Royals fan, I hear (and occasionally utter myself) the complaints on a nearly daily basis. Tell me if you’ve heard this one, “Let’s get a local ownership group in here that cares about our city.” Or how about, “Why didn’t we pay for anybody in free agency this offseason?” For Chiefs fans, the flavor of the year is to blame ownership for passing the cost of stadium renovations onto the fans by not reinvesting revenue into players.
While any of these arguments can often be justified, I wanted to take an objective look at how much NFL teams should realistically be paying based on the size of their markets. In particular, I wanted to compare the size of their payroll to the amount of television households in their respective markets. In other words, the amount they pay out compared to the size of their pool of prospective butts in seats. Looking at the 2011 NFL payrolls by team and the 2011 NFL market TV households allows us to create a “cost per TV household” or CPTV. Each team’s CPTV is then divided by the overall NFL cost per TV household of $65.13 (and multiplied by 100) to create each team’s index number. The bottom line is that if your team’s CPTV index is at or above 100, they are pulling their weight; if it’s below 100, they’re making easier money simply because there are more fans in their market.
What the numbers show is that in most cases, you should be hating the game, not the team, as they say. Take a look….