The deep-pocketed NFL is now feeling economic pain. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league is cutting more than 10 percent of its staff in response to the downturn in the nation’s economy.
The league is eliminating about 150 of its staff of 1100 in New York, NFL Films in New Jersey and TV and Internet production facilities in Los Angeles.
“I would like to be able to report that we are immune to the troubles around us, but we are not,” Goodell wrote to employees. The NFL has long has been regarded as one of the wealthiest pro sports leagues in the world. In September, Forbes called the NFL “the richest game” and the “the strongest sport in the world.”
The organization has revenues of approximately $6.5 billion, of which an estimated $4.5 billion goes to players. However, the league now joins the NBA, NASCAR teams and the company that runs the MLB’s Internet division in announcing layoffs.
NFL economy measures also include reduction in travel by some league staff and a reduction in costs for such items as printing and minor events.
The cuts will take place during the next 60 days, running past the Super Bowl Feb. 1. Employees who volunteer to leave will be offered what was termed “a voluntary separation program.” The layoffs are separate from the cuts in front-office and other personnel being made by the 32 individual teams.