Packers Have $385M in Reserve in Case of Revenue Issues, Team President Says

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2020

Lambeau Field is seen before an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers have $385 million in a reserve fund to help mitigate any lost revenue during the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic or other factors, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

In a letter to shareholders, team president Mark Murphy wrote that the organization is hopeful the season would be played "with full stadiums, but we are also planning for a whole range of contingencies and examining the financial ramifications."

He added that the Packers have "ample resources available ... to weather these difficult times."

While the NFL released its schedule last week and has maintained it plan to start on time in September, the uncertainty of where the United States will be in its fight against the coronavirus come fall looms over the sport. With other sports not yet returning to play, like the NBA, NHL and MLB, there isn't a blueprint for how professional sports might optimally and safely return. 

A major hurdle is whether various states deem it acceptable to have mass gatherings, a step that will be required to have fans in attendance.

"It's difficult to imagine a stadium that's filled until we have immunity and until we have a vaccine," California Governor Gavin Newsom said on May 7, per Wes Goldberg of the Mercury News. "There are conditions that persist in this state and this nation that make reopening very, very challenging."

What happens, for instance, if some states say it's fine to hold sporting events while California prohibits the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers from doing so, a measure other states could adapt as well?

Would the NFL move those teams to a different location for their home games? Would they have to institute a universal no-fans rule until all of the states had the same guidelines? Or would they allow some teams to hold games with fans and others to host games without? 

Without fans, a team would take a major revenue hit. And because of the league's revenue sharing, that means every team will take a hit. That could be one of the factors to potentially eat into Green Bay's reserve fund, which stood at $397 million in July, per Demovsky. 

The Packers are the only NFL team to be publicly owned. Per that report, 361,256 people hold five million shares of stock and "no one person can own more than 200,000 shares."

The Packers have built a nice rainy-day fund. It's very possible they'll need to tap into it in a major way this season.