Wondering why Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is smiling? He bought the team for $185 million in 1994 and last year far exceeded that in TV revenues!

By Mary Cunningham

Just in case you are wondering if NFL teams like the Eagles have an incredible business model, check out what ESPN.com revealed yesterday:

NFL teams each received $226.4 million from the NFL as part of national revenue sharing from the 2014 fiscal year.

The amount was revealed on Monday when the Green Bay Packers reported their share of the pie. The total surpassed $7.2 billion and comes mostly from the league’s television deals.

The national-revenue-sharing pot, split 32 ways, is up from slightly more than $6 billion last year, because the new TV deals with CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC/ESPN and NFL Network kicked in this past season. The national-revenue-sharing amount is up 120 percent, factoring for inflation, over the past 11 years.

In the 2010 fiscal year, the league split a little more than $3 billion among its 32 teams.

The Packers set records in total revenue and local revenue last year; their local revenue was $149.3 million, up 9.4 percent, mostly because of their newly expanded pro shop at Lambeau Field. The 21,500-square-foot store is the largest team store in the NFL.

Packers CEO Mark Murphy said the team was 18th in the league in average ticket prices. But with 7,000 more seats added in the past couple of years, the team has the second-biggest stadium in the league. That allowed the NFL’s smallest host city to maintain its spot in the top 10 in league revenue (ninth).

The Packers are required to announce earnings because they are technically a public entity, although the franchise’s 360,760 shareholders hold stock that they paid for that has no value and cannot be traded.

The Packers are making a big bet that there’s a lot of business to do around the stadium. Over time, the team has bought 65 acres of land around Lambeau Field, with an accessed value of nearly $50 million, for a development that it now calls Titletown.

Murphy said the Packers expect to make money from leases in the coming years, but they expect most of the money to come in when the success of the revitalization leads to more people spending more time and money around Lambeau.

The Packers finished the 2014 fiscal year with $29.2 million in profit, but the team is spending money to invest in Lambeau, which is the second-oldest stadium in the league, having been built in 1957. Murphy said the team will spend roughly $55 million to renovate its suites, including giving fans the ability to open the windows.

“I think the fans really want to feel that they’re connected with the game, so that will be the biggest improvement there,” Murphy said.

If the current season-ticket holders or suite holders don’t like what they see, there will be plenty of others waiting for their seats. The legendary Packers waiting list is now up to 115,000 names.

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