Just in time for Thursday Night Football the referees strike that has plagued professional football since the beginning of the season has come to an end!
According to ESPN (NYSE:DIS) NFL insider Adam Shefter and as reported by ABC News, the NFL and the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) have agreed to end the three-month old lockout and will formally sign an agreement some time this morning.
The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) still must be ratified by at least 51% of the 121 NFL referees, and voting is expected to take place on Friday and Saturday in Dallas, but since the NFLRA Board of Directors has endorsed the agreement it is expected to pass, paving the way for the referees to be back on the field starting tonight in Baltimore where the Ravens will host the Cleveland Browns.
The highlights of the CBA include a retirement benefits package for all new hires and all officials beginning in 2017 through a defined benefits contribution plan. The league will contribute an average of more than $18,000 per official that will increase to more than $23,000 per official by 2019. In addition, any contribution made to a 401 (k) account would be partially matched by the league.
Compensation will also increase, as officials stand to make up to $205,000 per year by 2019, up from an average of $149,000 today.
At this point, all that’s left to do is ask “are you ready for some football?”
-Written by Marc Bastow, Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing Mr. Bastow does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities, but he will attend tonight’s game.