• Loading stock data...
Monday, May 20, 2024
exclusive
Teams

Commanders Allegedly Held Back Visiting NFL Teams’ Ticket Revenue

  • Information about alleged ticketing scheme was given to a Congressional committee investigating the team, according to sources.
  • Teams are required to pass along 40% of net ticket revenue to the NFL, which disperses the funds.
Commanders tickets
Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports

The House Oversight Committee received information that alleges the Washington Commanders kept ticket revenue that is supposed to be shared with other NFL teams, sources told Front Office Sports.

According to NFL bylaws, all teams are required to pass along 40% of ticket sales from each home game — minus ticket handling charges and taxes — to the league, which then disperses the funds to visiting teams. At least one person gave information in recent weeks to Congressional investigators that alleges the Commanders didn’t pass along the full 40%, two sources with knowledge of the investigation told FOS.

It is not clear how long this alleged scheme ran for or who authorized it.

The Commanders and the NFL learned about the allegations in recent weeks, one source told FOS. 

An NFL spokesperson declined comment when reached by FOS on Saturday.

“There has been absolutely no withholding of ticket revenue at any time by the Commanders,” the Commanders said in a statement on Monday. “Those revenues are subject to independent audits by multiple parties. Anyone who offered testimony suggesting a withholding of revenue has committed perjury, plain and simple.”

Minutes after the Commanders’ statement, the attorney for a former longtime Commanders employee who worked in the ticket office responded.

“The Washington Commanders just released a statement to members of the media,” attorney Lisa Banks said in a statement. “In that statement, they defamed my client, Jason Friedman, who came forward at the request of the Congressional Oversight Committee and testified truthfully, with evidence. Unfortunately, Mr. Friedman is unable to defend himself publicly due to contractual constraints that prevent him from speaking freely. He would be happy to recount his testimony if Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders allow him to do so. I will await their response.”

FOS reported on Thursday the House Oversight Committee had expanded its investigation beyond allegations the Commanders fostered a hostile workplace environment to include an examination of the finances of the team and owner Dan Snyder. 

Sources told FOS that the person who gave the information to the Democrat-led Oversight Committee was the one referenced in the following statement by GOP Oversight Committee Spokesperson Austin Hacker: 

“The leak of one-sided, unconfirmed, unsupported allegations from a disgruntled ex-employee with an ax to grind is just further proof the Democrats’ investigation is a waste of Congress’ time. Nothing the Committee has heard from any credible witness points to any financial improprieties; in fact, the only credible witness in a position to know the facts the Democrats have heard from has denied any such improprieties.”

Sources with knowledge of the information given to Oversight Committee staffers told FOS that it went beyond first-person testimony.

Ticket sales are the only part of local revenues that have to be shared among NFL owners. Teams don’t share other revenues — from parking to local sponsorship deals — with the other teams.

Ticket sales not only impact other teams, but also the players since ticket revenue is factored into overall league revenues that are used to come up with each year’s salary cap.

The 2022 season’s salary cap is $208.2 million, a $25.7 million increase. The cap dipped for the first time last season since it was implemented in 1994, largely due to the pandemic that limited fan attendance during the 2020 season. 

The Green Bay Packers, the only publicly owned team in the NFL, took in $77 million in ticket sales in 2019, the most recent data available for a season not impacted by the pandemic. 

The Commanders reported the second-lowest attendance last season. 

“My understanding is that the early returns of ticket sales are going very well in Washington,”  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at the owners’ meetings on Tuesday.  “They are making a lot of progress. We are very optimistic going into the season.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.

NFL’s Christmas Shake-Up: Netflix and Amazon Will Take It Over in ’25

This is the new-age NFL, where anything goes, if the price is right.

NFL’s Schedule Points to Network Strategies: Chiefs Lead, Texans Rise

The two-time defending champions are a fixture across many of the league’s tentpole events.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Bare Knuckle Fighting Comes Out of the Shadows

0:00

Featured Today

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.
Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; American actors and comedians Chris Rock (left) and Ben Stiller sit court side during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
May 11, 2024

The Haves and Have-Nots: How the Knicks’ Celebrity Row Works

Unwritten rules, an expectation of quid pro quo, and nothing is free.
May 6, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (1) of the Netherlands walks through the garage area following qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome.
May 5, 2024

Max Verstappen Is Unstoppable. Is That Hurting F1 With New American Fans?

Formula One could be facing an inevitable plateau in the United States.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Adidas
Multiple - USA Careers
FanDuel
Multiple - USA Careers

Mets Owner Faces Backlash After Tweet Sparks Trade Speculation

Mets owner Steve Cohen is walking back a now deleted tweet that further riled an impatient fan base.
May 15, 2024

Ted Leonsis Still Wants to Buy the Nationals, Add to D.C. Portfolio

Leonsis tried to buy the team in 2023, but the Lerner family opted not to sell.
May 15, 2024

How the Golden State Valkyries Are Walking the Fine Line of Their Warriors Connection

The WNBA expansion team revealed a new name and logo Tuesday that align with—but don’t mirror—the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Sponsored

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 14, 2024

WNBA’s Next Franchise Has a Name: Golden State Valkyries

They are the league’s 13th team and first expansion franchise since 2008.
May 10, 2024

A Rising Pirates Star and His Famous Girlfriend Are Sparking National Buzz

Last year’s No. 1 draft pick will make his MLB debut, generating big expectations both locally and nationally.
May 9, 2024

Retail-Level Politics: Utah’s New NHL Team Owner Engages Fans Early On

A series of potential team names center on Utah’s status as a haven for winter sports.
May 9, 2024

Meet the … Utah Yeti? NHL Franchise Polling 20 Options for New Team Name

Jerseys will say ‘Utah’ for next season.