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Arbitration Ruling Downplayed by NFL Officials

Thursday, March, 10, 2016

The recent NFL arbitration ruling was a big topic at the recent Scouting Combine. The ruling resulted in the determination the league was guilty of diverting money from the pot that funds the salary cap into stadium-renovation exception that does not exist under CBA. According to NFL officials, the CBA is a “… lengthy, complicated document… with different interpretations from time to time…”


Some are saying the specific interpretation of the CBA against the NFL was made quickly and decisively at the hearing after both sides presented their cases. The speed with which the ruling was made is rare, especially when it is a substantive ruling in a contested case. Many believe this proves the NFL’s interpretation of the rule was pretty far off the mark, to the point the arbitrator didn’t even need time to further examine the situation.


The decision will increase the number of seasons over which the League’s investments in stadium projects will be recouped from local revenues. Most believe the decision will have no effect on the NFL’s long-standing commitment to stadium improvements, which most recently is reflected in the hundreds of millions of dollars given to the Rams’ new stadium in Los Angeles.


Ultimately, it could have no impact on the league’s commitment to stadium construction and renovation. But has a major impact on the trust between the league and the union, as well as the faith many owners have – or no longer have – in the league office. Only time will tell how it affects the long-term relationships throughout the game.