The Green Bay Packers released their annual report today and it showed a net profit of $5.2 million, an increase over the $4 million the team made last year.

Overall, the Packers reported $258 million in revenue, a record for the team.

The report is not so much interesting for the numbers as it is for the message the team sent. Although profits increased, the Packers stressed the role increasing player costs played in their financial year, framing NFL owners’ main point of contention in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement.

Player costs, which includes salaries, bonuses, incentives and health and pension costs, rose from $139 million to $161 million.

According to team officials, while player costs have gone up 11%, revenue has only gone up 5.5%.
“Player costs are growing at twice the rate of revenue,” Murphy said. That, he said, helps explain why the league, with the Packers in full support, agreed to opt out of the current contract and go to an uncapped salary season in 2010.

If an agreement is no reached with the just players next March, there could be a lockout for the 2011 season.

Greg Aiello, an NFL spokesman, said the league normally has not commented on the release of the Packers’ financial report. “The numbers speak for themselves,” he said in an e-mail.

The team also reported a jump in operating expenses, a line item that includes player expenses. Operating expenses increased from $228 million to $248 million. Clearly, the Packers are pointing to player expenses as being responsible for the increase.

Meanwhile, profit from operations dropped dramatically, from $20.1 million in the last fiscal year to $9.8 million this year.

Some other numbers:

Local revenue was $100.4 million, down slightly from $100.8 million last year.

Sales and marketing revenue, which includes Atrium and Packer Hall of Fame revenue, was $43 million, down from $43.7 million last year.

Road game revenue was $16.1 million, up slightly from $16 million last year.

National TV revenue was $95.7 million, slightly higher than last year’s $94.5 million.

Total national revenue was $157 million, up from $147 million last year.

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