By Jack Ryan
The NFL players are about to receive a three-year-old Christmas present.
Courtesy of the National Football League and an arbitrator.
NFL players will collectively receive around $50 million, and the 2016 salary cap will increase by around $1.5 million, after an arbitrator ruled that the league misclassified up to $120 million in revenue, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Over the past three years, the NFL withheld “waived gate” revenue from the players, reports the WSJ. According to the collective bargaining agreement, teams can withhold money from the sale of certain luxury boxes, personal seat licenses, and stadium naming deals, to help fund stadium construction costs. That’s what the NFL says they did here, but the arbitrator ruled that “waived gate” revenue revenue counts as typical ticket sales, of which the players receive 40%. That’s how you get the players’ share of around $50 million from $120 million in withheld revenue.
The NFLPA discovered the discrepancy when conducting an audit of the league’s books; it is unclear why it took them three seasons to notice it.