Financial Trouble Ahead For The Vikings?

Nam HuynhContributor ISeptember 5, 2009

HOUSTON - AUGUST 31:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings sets at the line of scrimmage against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on August 31, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The National Football League earns 2/3 of their money from television deals with major networks such as Fox, CBS, ESPN, and through paid services such as the NFL Sunday Ticket offered by DirecTV. That money is distributed to all teams  -- called revenue sharing, and all teams will get the same amount from the NFL no matter how big the team's market is (which helps the smaller market Vikings).

Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones told the AP he believes that once the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires next season, revenue sharing will likely decrease significantly, if not disappear altogether.

“Right now we are subsidizing this market,” said Jones, one of the most influential owners in the league. “It’s unthinkable to think that you’ve got the market you’ve got here, with 3.5 million people, and have teams like Kansas City and Green Bay subsidizing this market. That will stop. That’s going to stop. That’s called revenue sharing. That’s on its way out.”

The Metrodome is among the lowest in the league for incoming revenue, if revenue sharing is decreased (or even worse, disappeared), it would be very difficult to maintain the Vikings’ franchise. The issue of not having a high-revenue type stadium can definitely hurt the Vikings, because the team is heavily relying on revenue sharing.

The owners of the Cowboys, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and other powerhouse franchises simply feel they should get more of the revenue from the NFL’s television deals. Although Jones’ comments have a sense of bias compared to the views of all other NFL owners, the threat of a change in the revenue sharing system is legitimate.

This financial conundrum could really force Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf to make some tough decisions as early as next season, and if the team cannot secure a new stadium, it is a real possibility the Vikings can be leaving Minnesota.

Nam Huynh writes for Minnesota Sports Zone (