The NFL has generally done a good job of keeping important revenue information under lock-and-key. We know a decent amount because the Green Bay Packers' unique ownership structure requires they disclose their financial statements. However, it leaves a lot of guess-work. Even when Forbes is doing their annual franchise valuations, it's based in large part on educated guess work.
However, later this month, we might get a peak into another franchise's financials. The New Orleans Saints ownership is in the midst of turmoil due to family squabbles. Benson and his first wife adopted three children, and one of them was expected to run the Saints after Benson. However, in 2015, he changed his will, cutting her out and naming his current wife (married in 2004) as the person to take control after Benson passes.
This led to a lawsuit, with the adopted child claiming Benson's physical and mental health have deteriorated, and his current wife and her allies are manipulating him. The trial is scheduled to start June 20, and the judge made an important ruling, denying a request by Benson to seal team and league financial information during the trial.
Federal court judge today denied Saints owner Benson's request to seal team, league fincl info during trustee trial starting June 20— daniel kaplan (@dkaplanSBJ) June 3, 2016
We are not going to get a full view of NFL finances, and it remains to be seen what will actually be used in the trial. But there is a chance we get an intriguing deep dive into the NFL's financial information. I'm sure some folks are not particularly interested in that, but it's something that has always fascinated me. There is not really a "model franchise" in terms of extrapolating all finances, but it will give us some idea of how things look for NFL teams. Depending on what becomes available, we'll definitely use offseason downtime to look at this information!