According to none other than Forbes.com, the New England Patriots are worth $2.6 billion and are owned by Robert Kraft whose personal wealth is conservatively measured at $4.1 billion. The Patriots franchise ranks # 2 in value among NFL teams behind only the Dallas Cowboys with annual revenue of nearly $500 million. Robert Kraft bought the franchise in 1994 for $172 million. All this data was compiled by Forbes in August of 2014 – before their latest Super Bowl victory which has only increased their worth and his.
As a result of the “DeflateGate” controversy and the NFL’s decision to punish the Patriots and Tom Brady personally, tempers have flared on many sides of the controversy. The NFL has suspended Tom Brady without pay for the first four games of next season, fined the Patriots a record $1 million and stripped them of their first-round draft pick in 2016 and fourth round pick in 2017.
What has transpired as a result of this controversy and resultant punishment leveed by the NFL front office speaks to a theme that is both pure sports and pure economics. Ardent Patriot fans have wasted no time in setting up a website on GoFundMe titled: “Paying the bill for the Patriots.” New England fans are rallying around Tom Brady and their team in an effort to raise $1 million dollars so the franchise won’t have to come up with the cash. Over 500 fans have committed to donating nearly $8,000 in total thus far. I am not kidding.
New York Jets fans have taken on this cause from a slightly different angle. The Jets have been on the losing end of this relationship for years. There is no blood lost by Jets fans at any misfortune that befalls their archrival Patriots. Seemingly overnight, 10 billboards in high traffic areas in the New York City metro-area have been plastered with messages meant to taunt Patriot fans and cast dispersions at Tom Brady’s character. I am not making this up.
If consumers have this kind of disposable income to waste, how far away can we be from a full and complete recovery in every sense of the economic word. Additionally, how far away can we be from interest rate normalization?
By the way, I have no stake in this scuffle. I am a New York Giants fan and season ticket holder my entire life. My family made certain of that. My grandfather and godfather, C.J. Devine, was a very close friend of Tim Mara when be founded the New York Giants in 1925.