Team payrolls and player salaries in North American sports leagues
The National Football League is, compared to the other major sports leagues in North America (NBA, MLB, NHL), the largest in terms of revenue. The league-wide revenue was at more than 9.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2013.
According to Forbes, player salaries for that season amounted to more than 4.78 billion U.S. dollars. On average each team expended around 149 million U.S. dollars on player salaries. The Detroit Tigers had the highest payroll in the 2013/14 season, including benefits and bonuses, with around 180 million U.S. dollars in player salaries. With more than 20 million U.S. dollars in annual salary earnings Joe Flacco, quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, is amongst the highest-paid players in the league.
Compared to football, the best players in baseball and basketball tend to earn more in salaries than football players. Kobe Bryant for example stands to make more than 30 million U.S. dollars in the 2013/14 NBA season. Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has a salary of 29 million U.S. dollars in the 2013 season.
According to research conducted by Sporting Intelligence, the Los Angeles Dodgers were the team with the highest team payroll in sports worldwide in 2013/14, with player salaries in excess of 240 million U.S. dollars. Three other teams of Major League Baseball (the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies) were also among the top-10 in regards to team payroll.
The other six spots among the top-10 were taken by European soccer teams such as Manchester City, Real Madrid and the FC Barcelona. In this timeframe, the New York Yankees had the highest average pay per player among the teams from North American sports leagues listed, with an average player salary of 8.03 million U.S. dollars. Only Manchester City of the Barclays Premier League paid their players more on average with 8.11 million U.S. dollars per player.