Huizenga: Player costs hurting NFL

Amongst all the talk about Brett Favre‘s retirement, the most significant quotes of the week came from outgoing Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga.

In addressing the financial realities that hover around today’s game, Huizenga sounded words that every owner probably is thinking and will enter into any decision about a potential work stoppage in 2011.

“That labor agreement didn’t really turn out the way it should have turned out,” Huizenga told Miami reporters Tuesday, referring to the collective bargaining agreement extension that was struck in 2006 but of which owners already have opted out. “From one year to the next year, our labor cost went up $22 million. Since that time, it’s gone up $6 million to $7 million a year in addition to that, so my big concern with football, which I love, is the player costs.”

And player costs, in Huizenga’s opinion, are affecting the fans’ experience.

“That $22 million bump in the first year forced teams to pass the cost on to the fan,” he said. “It’s going to get to the point where the fans aren’t going to want to pay the ticket prices anymore, and that’s my biggest concern about football.”

Again, this isn’t some sports-talk show host. This is a wildly successful businessmen. The words came from Huizenga; they could have come from any NFL owner.

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