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We’re Not Going To Be An NFL City, That’s OK

February 2, 2015 Downtown, Featured, Missouri, Popular Culture 30 Comments

Over the last few weeks, listening to others and reading,  I’ve come to realize a few things about the NFL and the St. Louis Rams:

  1. The NFL does appeal to many, providing instant cache for a city/region.
  2. Even though the number of games are limited, the financial benefits to the region are very real.
  3. Kroenke wants the Rams in LA — his investment substantially increase in value.
  4. Kroenke is a real estate developer, he enjoys building stuff and owning it.
  5. Kroenke wants more than a stadium plus parking, he wants to build an experience — and to profit from it. See #4 above.
  6. Kroenke appears willing to move the Rams without approval of his fellow NFL owners.
  7. St. Louis advocates of a new NFL stadium are setting us up for a big fall when we’re no longer an NFL city.
  8. The first 4 decades of the NFL St. Louis wasn’t an NFL city, we had our first NFL team for 28 years (1960-1987). We’ve been an NFL city only half years the NFL has been a league!
  9. St. Louis stands a good chance of getting an Major League Soccer (MLS) team. St. Louis has a rich history of European football.
  10. Soccer players don’t like playing in NFL stadiums, see Playing MLS games in NFL stadiums.
  11. 13 of the MLS’ 19 teams (68%) play in soccer-specific stadiums, with seating ranging from 18,086 to 27,000. See MLS’ Soccer-Specific Stadiums and Major League Soccer’s Stadium Revolution.
  12. Soccer fans like to tailgate, but also prefer a downtown location. Those who don’t tailgate like pubs.
  13. The largest record attendance (48,263) at Busch Stadium was not baseball, but a soccer match in May 2013.
  14. In May 2014  St. Louis became an expansion city for Division III soccer, the Saint Louis FC’s home opener is Saturday April 11th, at the 6,000+ seat Soccer Park in Fenton.
  15. A 20,000-25,000 seat soccer-specific stadium could possibly be built in the North Riverfront area without razing any historic buildings or displacing residents, businesses.
  16. After the Rams return to LA, an MLS expansion team could play in the Edward Jones Dome while a new outdoor stadium is being built.
  17. The smaller-sized MLS stadium would fit much easier into the North Riverfront, parking would be less and could be in a combination of garages and surface.

Based on the above I think we as a city/region/state should:

  1. Accept that the Rams will leave, the cost to retain them or entice another team to move here is just too high a price to pay given the benefits. Move on knowing we have baseball & hockey.
  2. Encourage the Blues owners to get an NBA team to play in the Scottrade Center.
  3. Use this as an opportunity to put our efforts into getting a Division I MLS team, while supporting our new Division III team.
  4. Develop a plan to continue the ongoing efforts in the North Riverfront area, creating a mixed-use neighborhood in the remaining buildings and building new to infill the gaps.
The blue
The blue area shows the developable area North of Carr St that could be developed without the loss of any historic buildings.  Click for map of area
Warehouses in the along Ashley between 2nd and Lewis.
Historic warehouses along Ashley between 2nd and Lewis could be right next to the stadium, perfect for offices, apartments, restaurants, etc.

I’ve accepted that St. Louis will not be an NFL city, just like it wasn’t when I moved here nearly 25 years ago. Our best years of population growth and prosperity were well before NFL arrived in St. Louis.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "30 comments" on this Article:

  1. john w. says:

    I love American football, and I own TV. That is all.

     
  2. JZ71 says:

    I agree with most of your analysis and many of yur conclusions. You state that we could “Use this as an opportunity to put our efforts into getting a Division I MLS team, while supporting our new Division III team” and “an MLS expansion team could play in the Edward Jones Dome while a new outdoor stadium . . . could possibly be built in the North Riverfront area without razing any historic buildings or displacing residents, businesses.” What is left unsaid are any funding scenarios. Are you assuming “public support”, aka a tax-funded facility, similar to the current NFL proposal, only on a smaller scale? Or, are you assuming a smaller, primarily privately-funded operation, like the Colorado Rapids’? Stan Kroenke is the “brains” behind the team, the stadium and the surrounding development, in a truly suburban setting, much like our soccer park, out in Fenton: http://www.victorycrossing.com/master-plan/master-plan-overview/

    http://www.coloradorapids.com/stadium and http://www.dickssportinggoodspark.com/stadium-field-complex/field-complex/complex-overview/

     
  3. JZ71 says:

    You state that “Soccer fans like to tailgate, but also prefer a downtown location.” Since I’m always suspicious of broad statements (like that one), I thought I’d check and see where MLS really plays. It seems like they’re “all over the map”, with a mix of new and old, urban and suburban, including some doing the hermit-crab thing, using existing NFL or MLB stadia. While the league may “prefer” to be downtown, it seems like it’s up to each local club to figure things out for themselves. And, FWIW, it looks like each team gets 17 home games this year (not that many more than an NFL team): http://www.timbers.com/sites/portland/files/2015Schedule_0.pdf

    Chicago plays in an inner-ring, suburban location, miles from the Loop (way further than either Wrigley Field or Cominskey/US Cellular Park).

    The Colorado Rapids play in a truly suburban facility.

    Columbus plays in a semi-urban stadium – think SLU/Cortex, here.

    Washington, DC, plays in the NFL RFK Stadium.

    Dallas plays in a new facility, way, way out in the ‘burbs, just off of Main Street in Frisco.

    Houston’s stadium is on the fringes of their downtown, with good transit and pedestrian access.

    Los Angeles plays in a suburban stadium, convenient to 3 freeways.

    Montreal currently plays in an old Olympic stadium, and is building a new one nearby, in Olympic Park.

    New England plays in the NFL Gillette Stadium.

    One New York team plays in Yankee Stadium.

    New York’s other team plays in Red Bull Arena is located in Harrison, NJ.

    Orlando is building a new “downtown” stadium, opening next year.

    Philadelphia plays in a riverfront stadium outside of downtown – think Carondolet/River City Casino, here

    Portland plays in a renovated, urban, stadium.

    Salt Lake plays in a very suburban facility, in Sandy.

    San Jose plays in a new, suburban, soccer-specific stadium.

    Seattle plays in the NFL stadium, CenturyLink Field.

    Kansas City’s Stadium is in the suburbs (Kansas side), next to the NASCAR track.

    Toronto’s BMO Stadium is in Exhibition Place, on the fringes of downtown.

    The Vancouver “Whitecaps FC’s home stadium is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Vancouver and is easily accessible. Fans are strongly encouraged to take public transportation.”

     
    • I asked a good friend about soccer and found the linked article where the commissioner said they preferred a downtown vs suburban location, I agree, they don’t fit, but the Edward Jones Dome is an example of that — numerous parking lots for tailgating and public transit, parking garages, pubs for others.

       
      • JZ71 says:

        I’m pretty sure that they’re going to be playing their games, this year, out at the existing soccer park in Fenton . . . my point was that a) there are currently many different “answers” (not all downtown) and b) there’s little correlation between traditional “urban” cities and walkable, transit a friendly facilities. If anything, there seem to be two directions, either an “urban” stadium that is publicly owned and “shared” or a primarily-privately financed complex with multiple recreational fields and other development opportunities.

         
  4. gmichaud says:

    I don’t think professional soccer games are ever played indoors and on artificial turf. That’s why all of the exhibition games are played at Busch Stadium. So I don’t believe the Edwards Jones Dome is a possible choice, even temporarily.
    I saw you on channel 9, nice job. they didn’t talk enough about alternatives, including MLS soccer. The Rams are all but gone. If they can find a billion to build a new football stadium, certainly they can find a lesser amount for a soccer stadium.
    Not only that there is still a missing discussion of a comprehensive approach to transit and making St. Louis a more desirable city. There are plenty of great attractions but the connectivity and the continuity of the urban fabric are seriously lacking. I’m sure a more attractive city would encourage fortune 500 companies to stay put while creating an atmosphere that could entice corporations. Ultimately the quality of life is important in decision making of all kinds when locating or relocating.
    A billion dollars would be a good down payment on those types of initiatives.

     
    • Outdoors is preferred, but pro soccer has already been played inside the EJD.

       
      • gmichaud says:

        I did a little research and you are correct, the artificial turf has to pass a high quality test, which I guess the Edward Jones Dome would be able to do, apparently we are at a 3rd generation artificial turf now. I know when I played soccer in college so many years ago I would get terrible turf burns from the artificial turf, they have largely corrected that it appears.
        I also came across prices for soccer stadiums. The MLS prefers soccer only venues and Washington DC is building what is billed the most expensive soccer stadium for 286 million, most of the stadiums I came across were in the 100 million range, a far cry from costs associated with football stadiums.

         
        • JZ71 says:

          Every league “prefers” exclusive venues – I prefer to fly in first class, not in coach, but it ain’t happenin’! The challenge is when any league “expects” the taxpayers to pick up most of the cost of any new facility, exclusive or not. These are all for-profit ventures – they make money! When it comes to spending tax dollars, we need to make choices. We have limited, finite resources, and we can’t “have” or fund even half of everything we all “want”. Professional soccer may be on the upswing, but it’s still “circuses for the masses”, no different than the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, the PGA or Arena Football. We already have Busch, Scottrade, Jones, Chafietz and the Soccer Park in Fenton, plus multiple high school football fields. We also have crumbling infrastructure and a need for more police. We need to choose, and another stadium, in my mind, is NOT a priority, for any professional sport!

           
          • The NFL & Bidwell didn’t like playing secondary to the MLB Catdinals in Busch II.

             
          • gmichaud says:

            I was restating the fact from the article that MLS prefers soccer only venues. Actually in thinking about it you are right Steve, a soccer stadium in the same location as the proposed football stadium would work better. You would need half to a third of the parking over football, allowing for the retention of most of the historic buildings and thereby creating what would be a more interesting district. Not only that between the MLS games and likely heavier use for related soccer and other events the district would see far more use than with a football only venue.
            I see Indianapolis, who has a nice football stadium, is also proposing a soccer only stadium to attract an MLS expansion team.
            It is amazing how St. Louis has become such a backwater compared to other cities.
            It is in large part due to people like JZ who embrace the status quo and try to find as many reasons as possible why St Louis cannot and should not progress instead of offering solutions.
            It is a sad state of affairs really.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            I do not “embrace the status quo”, I’m pointing out the insanity of continually buildiing multiple, new, sports venues with significant taxpayer contributions, especially “exclusive” ones that will be used less than two dozen days each year and will be deemed “obsolete” after just twenty or thirty years (and well before the bonds that paid for them are paid off)! I get it, you like soccer – I have no interest. I also have no interest in funding facilities for professional baseball, professional football, profesional auto racing or professional bowling! I’ll repeat, these are for-profit businesses. They can afford to build their own facilities. They’re just playing the area’s residents, guilting them into building new sports Taj Mahals, TO ENHANCE THEIR BOTTOM LINES, at the expense of other, more pressing, public funding NEEDS that impact each one of us every day! Sure, a pro sports team may “feel good”, but it won’t mean more jobs for local residents or a corporate headquarters either moving here or staying here!

            If you want “soutions”, look at Cortex and Trex – they’re bringing entrprenuers and startups to the city. Look at cities around the country that have a master plan to expand public transit , including how to pay for it and make it reality. Get rid of the city earnings tax. It may not be “that much”, but it rubs a lot of people (who are voting with their feet and choosing the suburbs over the cty)!

             
          • gmichaud says:

            You don’t get it. No where did I or Steve for that matter say that the public should fund an MLS stadium.
            Steve offered a creative blueprint in his article. Subjects could include historic preservation, urban design, economic development, the relationship between the stadium site and the Arch and Lacledes Landing along with other subjects. What ever the discussion; it is impossible to talk finances without a potential solution. That is what developers and architects do, come up with innovative solutions that make projects work.

            A 150 to 200 million dollar stadium has a much better chance of being privately financed than a billion dollar football stadium. Part of the question has to become how to extend the use of the stadium beyond the MLS and sporting events. There are concerts, rodeos, who know maybe a week long agriculture fair (I have never understood why St Louis ignores that it is in the middle some of the richest agriculture land in America, if not the world)
            The point is, each of these, if feasible, may suggest design solutions for the surrounding historic district. There is a whole slew of possibilities that can be discussed. Another discussion point is can the railroad in the area be converted to mass transit at some point?
            I’m sure many decision makers read this blog, if they read your posts they would figure everything is a dead end. You clearly have considerable knowledge and can present interesting information. But often posts seem to be an attempt to kill discussion.

            The first problem is not how to pay for a MLS stadium, but what kind of project can be successful, what does that project look like. what are the potentials and so on? That is the type of feedback developers are looking for from architects (and the public). From my reading of Steve’s post that is what he is saying. He is trying to start the discussion about some or all of these issues.
            I have personally expressed reservations many times about supporting billionaires with their projects. However if something attains the greater good in a meaningful way, it may very well be something I and the public could support. I try to be open minded. Building a public football stadium so Kroenke can make more money is not an idea I can support.
            In summary, what is lacking is a discussion of the vision of what could be.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            I’ll repeat – my first response to Steve was “You state that we could ‘Use this as an opportunity to put our efforts into getting a Division I MLS team, while supporting our new Division III team’ and ‘an MLS expansion team could play in the Edward Jones Dome while a new outdoor stadium . . . could possibly be built in the North Riverfront area without razing any historic buildings or displacing residents, businesses.’ What is left unsaid are any funding scenarios. Are you assuming ‘public support’, aka a tax-funded facility, similar to the current NFL proposal, only on a smaller scale? Or, are you assuming a smaller, primarily privately-funded operation, like the Colorado Rapids’?” To which, Steve replied: “I’m assuming we put our collective heads together, analyze how other cities have funded MLS stadiums, etc.” Yes, if you take things literally, Steve did not “say that the public should fund an MLS stadium”, he stated that we need to emulate what other cities have done, and many cities have partially funded new stadia that are either exclusively or partially used for professional soccer. If A=B and B=C, then I’m sorry I made such an (obvious?) jump / assumption / conclusion that A=C!

            That said, sure, a smaller, soccer-size stadium would be a better “fit” than the current NFL-size plan would be on the proposed site. The challenge remains funding, as much as you don’t want to face that reality. MLS currently draws far smaller crowds than NFL games do, and they don’t play that many more home games than the NFL does each year. You envision a facility that has other uses, including “concerts, rodeos, [and] who knows, maybe a week long agriculture fair”. The fundamental answer to that assumption is what would this facility offer that Hollywood Casino/Verizon Wireless/Riverport Amphitheater and/or the state fair gounds in Sedalia don’t already offer?! Why come here, instead of Busch, Family Areana, Chafietz, Scottrade or the Jones Dome? We don’t seem to be lacking for regional venues, and building another one just do something, anything, to jumpstart development north of Lumiere, seems like a huge waste of public money and/or a poor private-sector investment (which is very likely why nothing has happened with the Bottle District in a decade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bottle_District,_St_Louis).

            I admire your passion for quixotic quests, like when you ask “what kind of project can be successful, what does that project look like. what are the potentials and so on? That is the type of feedback developers are looking for from architects (and the public). From my reading of Steve’s post that is what he is saying. He is trying to start the discussion about some or all of these issues.” Yet when I respond, as both an architect and a member of the public, you want to dismiss my observations simply because they don’t agree with yours: “It is in large part due to people like JZ who embrace the status quo and try to find as many reasons as possible why St Louis cannot and should not progress instead of offering solutions. It is a sad state of affairs really.” Saying “no, it doesn’t make sense” is pretty much the same thing as saying “each of these, if feasible, may suggest design solutions for the surrounding historic district.” I always question feasibility, I don’t assume that anything you, I or anyone else can dream up (or copy) is always possible or blindly worth pursuing. Yes, a conversation, especially one about development and public investments, SHOULD include many and varied voices – standing around and singing Kumbaya does little to move things off dead center.

            I don’t know if you saw this: http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/02/02/odds-stacked-against-potential-major-league-soccer-team-in-st-louis/ . . Among the other points it makes are “That leaves only one available team, and St. Louis and five other cities want it. Whoever gets it has another big problem – they have to come up with a $100 million expansion fee to pay the league. ‘You got to cross that huge, immense hurdle, of getting someone – an investor, owner, operator – who’s going to put up that kind of money to get an MLS team here in town,’ [KMOX soccer broadcaster Bill] McDermott says.” We’re currently playing professional games at the Fenton soccer complex – it seems to be working: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_Soccer_Park . . Building on that investment would seem to make more sense than spending $150M – $200M on a new, soccer-only stadium in a completely different location.

            As for the Bottle District, we need to see a combination of organic growth, building on what’s already happening with existing investments, and seeing spiking values downtown, driving growth to the fringes of downtown, much like Brooklyn and Queens in NYC, the Highlands, River North and the Brighton Boulevard corridor in Denver, and Wrigleyville and the near south side in Chicago. And yes, for better or worse, it is all about money – investment happens when the private sector sees opportunity (to make a profit), NOT when some government entity thinks that it’s a good idea. Government can steer investment, especially if multiple investors are interested, but they can do little to “make it happen”, especially if little else is happening . . . .

             
          • gmichaud says:

            You are not much of a capitalist. A capitalist comes up with better ideas, better ways to make things work and make money. To declare ideas are quixotic shows the gap between your thinking and that of a creative developer/architect/ capitalist who find innovative solutions to problems.

            The main obstacle with your approach is that once again, you shoot down discussion because it does meet your financial requirements, whatever those may be (they seem to be always changing).

            Like I said before, people like you are the poster child for why St Louis cannot advance. You refuse to further any conversation about innovation and new ideas, instead everything must bend to your immediate demands to surrounding money, no matter how vague.

            Honestly I don’t have time for this, if you want to discuss possible solutions I’m all ears. Personally I think you are wasting your considerable talents and abilities by not attempting to find solutions instead of shooting everything down as “quixotic quests” that dares to ask what is possible.

            The whole irony is I get the impression you imagine yourself as fiscally responsible, when exactly the opposite is true.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            My fundamental concern is with the underlying. local, presumption that every major project or investment requires a significant taxpayer subsidy – want to build a shopping center? “We need a TIF district.” Want to keep the Rams? “We need to build a new, taxpayer-funded stadium complex.” Want to attract an MLS team? “We need to build a new, taxpayer-funded stadium” for them, as well! If Stan Kroenke wants to build one, on his own (as he’s doing in Denver, and wants to do in LA), in true capitalistic fashion, I’m all in – let’s make it work for him in north city! But to spend a billion dollars, then turn around and “give” him all the parking revenues and a nominal lease rate for the stadium – NO! Professional sports do NOT define ANY community – they’re one part of a much larger equation, and all parts of the equation need to be treated fairly. And chasing that “one big score”, while essentially ignoring both existing businesses and not nurturing new startups and entreprenuers is a sure recipe for failure. Companion Bread is just the latest company to bail from the city (moving to Maryland Heights) – the city would have been better served, and seen a much bigger return on their (our!) investment of public resources, if they (we!) had worked (harder? at all?) to keep this existing business (and others) in the city!

             
          • gmichaud says:

            Worked harder at doing what?

             
          • JZ71 says:

            Being aware that they need more space and are looking around. Identifying why they would want to leave the city, and attempting to address those concerns. They’ve acquired an existing, vacant 41,000 square foot in Maryland Heights and are in the process of renovating it. How many vacant commercial structures of the that size dot the city? They’re moving 60 jobs from the city to the county to an industrial location with no more retail presence than their current one. Yeah, it’s “only” 60 jobs, but 60 here, 50 there and 75 somewhere else add up to continual job loss in the city, and fewer jobs equals less tax revenue, lower property values and less reason to renovate or build anything new!

            In contrast, Bissinger’s did decide to expand in the city – why? They’re in the food business, much like Companion. Dakota Blenders just moved from 1350 S. Kingshighway to Gravois Rd. in Sunset Hills – why? They’re in the wholesale food busines, as well. So I’m sure your next question will be “then, why don’t we help the NFL and/or MLS?” And my response is that we’re already heavily subsidizing the Rams, and the only reason they/we “need” a new stadium is that the existing 20-year-old one isn’t the latest and greatest – we’re not “keeping up with Jones” (literally and figuratively)! The only reason we “need” to spend tax dollars is that we’re being blackmailed into doing so! The Rams employ hundreds of people, in the city, a dozen days a year, and most of those are part-time minimum wage ones. The high-paying, permanent positions are based in Earth City, at the training facility, not in the city. MLS will be playing at the Fenton Soccer Park, this year – let’s see how they do, attendance-wise. If they need more seating, let’s expand what’s there.

            Most stadiums are like the Miata we keep in our garage – it gets taken out on nice days, less than a dozen times a year. Sure, it’s fun, it’s shiny, it makes us feel young again, but it costs money to license, insure and maintain. In the meantime, my truck, the one that I drive every day, gets to sit in the driveway, out in the weather. It’s not the most rational decision, be we can afford to do it, and we do. But we’re also not asking our friends and neighbors to fund this little indulgence, we’re paying for it, ourselves. Pro sports are similar. Stan Kroenke is selling a product to the “fans”, who are willing to support it with ticket sales, buying products that are advertised during games, by paying ever-increasing monthly fees for cable TV and by convincing scared local governments to dedicate tax revenues to support his cash cow/spectacle. And since I’m not a “fan”, I’d rather see those dollars being directed to more practical things, things like better mass transit, better policing and replacing our aging infrastructure, things that encourage businesses to stay in the city and not flee to the greener pastures in the suburbs!

             
  5. guest says:

    Steve, you’re trying to make a rational argument, but the decision in this case will not be based solely on rational decision making. It will largely be a decision based on wants and needs (do we *want* NFL football or do we “need* NFL football), immediate gratification (can we risk losing the NFL?), a desire for fun and recreation (do we like going to home games or watching them on TV?) , and trying to create an amenity for the region (is STL an NFL city?). Those things cost money, but don’t necessarily provide an economic return, worry about historic preservation, or the concerns of academics.

     
  6. guest says:

    Still waiting for a response from Urban Review that the NFL in STL question will be answered more based on emotion and a desire for fun than an economic cost benefit analysis.

     
  7. guest says:

    Oh, I think I get it. Your next post on the issue will be a “fooled me once, fooled me twice” or “I told you so”, or “Don’t say I didn’t warn you” themed post”, right? Steve, you’re missing the point. The people in favor of building a new stadium in part with taxpayer funding don’t care about the economics, they care about having NFL football in St. Louis as a fun thing to do. That’s all it is. Amusement. And they’re willing to pay for it. Whether it’s “right” or “wrong” for billionaires to seek taxpayer funding for a project like this is not important to them. They want some football.

     
    • I know it’s tradition in St. Louis to take pleasure in razing historic buildings, destroying historic districts, displacing residents & businesses. We’ve been trying this for decades — with the same costly & disastrous results.

       
      • JZ71 says:

        No, it’s not “tradition in St. Louis to take pleasure” in this stuff, it’s an ongoing attempt to stay relevent! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no differently than in any other city. Yes, everthing old has a history. No, everything new is not inherently evil. As long as you equate old to better or the only answer, you’re buying into the same backwards thinking that has hamstrung St. Louis for decades — with the same costly & disastrous results.

         
        • That’s why we have the rigorous process for adding buildings & districts to the National Register of Historic Places — to distinguish between just old and historic & old.

          A decade ago it was the individuality listed Century Building, so the demo-gods are due to sacrifice more.

           
          • guest says:

            ^ Ridiculous comparison. And the rigorous process you describe is hardly absolute but rather subject to bureaucratic interpretation. Further, just because an area has historic district status hardly means the area will thrive – just look at the northern half of Hyde Park!

             
    • “And they’re willing to pay for it.” Wrong, they’re willing to pay for part — they expect everyone else to pay the rest of the tab — that’s why billionaire team owners usually have their hands out — they know the fans couldn’t pay 100% of the costs.

       
      • JZ71 says:

        No, the fans COULD (and would) certainly pay 100% of the costs IF there weren’t so many damn subsidies from non-fans!!!! The market has become skewed, making it possible (easy?) for the “billionaire team owners” to give their hired help – the players and coaches – multi-million dollar contracts! IF the “billionaire team owners” were not getting millions of dollars in additional revenue, from advertising, parking, TV rights, naming rights, sponsorships and multiple tax subsidies, over and above actual ticket sales, guess what? Professional football would continue to exist – the demand would still be there! The ONLY difference would be that salaries and contracts would see the decimal point shift one or two spaces to the left! Peyton Manning currently gets paid more than a million dollars a game ($15M – $21M, per year), because the Denver Broncos, just like every other NFL team, HAS THE REVENUE TO SPEND! Would he (and any other QB) choose not to play if they were paid “only” $8M or $5M a year?! NO!!! Sure, he’s going to take every penny that he can get, just like every other employee in ANY business, but that is only “limited” in the NFL by the salary cap that every team needs to abide by. “Unfortunately”, the growth in the salary cap has far exceeded the rate of inflation – 20 years ago, it was $35M; 15 years ago, it was $58M; 10 years ago, it was $81M; 5 years ago, it was $123M; and it now stands at $133M! Are players 4 times better than they were 20 years ago, working 4 times harder and deserving salaries that are 4 times higher? It’s basic supply and demand, whether it’s football, soccer, baseball, Broadway shows, rock concerts or magic shows – performers will ONLY be paid what revenues allow them to be paid. “Billionaire owners” are NOT going to be spending any more on salaries, especially money that would be coming out of their own pockets, than they absolutely have to – that’s how they got to be billionaires in the first place!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salary_cap . . http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/denver-broncos/peyton-manning/

         

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