Dallas Business Journal – by Bill Hethcock, Staff Writer
With not one but two professional sports lockouts now under way, North Texas sports fans are left to wonder whether the Dallas Cowboys or the Mavericks are more likely to miss next season.
Dallas attorney Amy Davis, a partner with Rose Walker LLP, has analyzed the difference between the two labor disputes and says the Cowboys and the NFL will have a tougher time reaching an agreement than the Mavericks and the NBA.
The NBA locked out its players at 12:01 a.m. Friday when its collective bargaining agreement expired, joining the NFL in a lockout.
When the NBA lockout occurred, the last offer on the table from the players called for 54.3 percent of basketball revenue going to salaries vs. 45.7 that would go to the teams and other expenses. The owners want a 50/50 split. The expiring deal is a 57/43 percent split.
“I think they’re going to be able to bridge it,” said Davis, a labor and employment lawyer. “We’re going to have a (basketball) season. I think there’s little doubt that they’re going to be able to reach an agreement.”
Davis thinks the NFL will overcome its issues as well, but they’ll face a tougher time doing it.
In the NFL dispute, the owners are asking the players to give back about $1 billion in money that otherwise would be split between the players and the team.
“That’s an awful lot of money,” Davis said. “In addition, media reports showing NFL team owners making profits while many NBA teams are losing money make it likely the basketball players will reach agreement with the owners more easily than the football players will,” she said.
One major difference between the two disputes is the amount of information available about how the teams in the leagues are doing financially.
In the NBA, there’s more transparency, Davis said.
“The NFL, on the other hand, is not transparent and they’re not offering much information about how their teams are doing,” she said. “The players really don’t know what the financial situation of the league is. That creates a tremendous amount of distrust in the negotiations.”
This is the NBA’s fourth lockout.