Average Base Salary Increase over Time
Looking back at the average base salaries from 2000 and comparing them to the 2016 average base salary, we see that the NFL has seen the biggest increase at 589% (2000 = 1.29M, 2016 = 8.87M). The MLB follows with a 545% increase (2000 = 2.66M, 2016 = 17.13M). The NHL increased 406% and the NBA 192%. When you factor in CPI inflation over that period:
NFL = 1.29M (2000) has the spending power of 1.85M in 2016
MLB = 2.66M (2000) has the spending power of 3.80M in 2016
NHL = 1.31M (2000) has the spending power of 1.62M in 2016
NBA = 5.75M (2000) has the same spending power of 8.22M in 2016
If we use the adjusted values for the start average to the CPI spending power, we see the adjusted average base salary increases: NFL (+379%), MLB (351%), NHL (312%), NBA (104%).
Average Base Salary by Position
If you are looking to turn your son or daughter into a professional athlete, you may want to steer them towards either baseball and basketball. 17 of the top 20 positions with the highest average base salary are dominated by the two sports with free safety, outside linebacker, and quarterback rounding out the positions.
Yes, professional athletes are getting paid obscene amounts of money to play a kid’s game and someone at the other end is getting stuck with the bill. That’s where you come in to the equation. Ticket prices, cable bills, merchandise, etc. continue to rise. Each season you need to dig deeper and deeper into your pockets. The question is: how much would you pay to watch your favorite sports team? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below.