The Green Bay Packers don't expect to retire legendary quarterback Brett Favre's No. 4 this year, team president Mark Murphy said Thursday.
"I don't anticipate having him retire a number this season, in a game this year," Murphy told a group of reporters, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported in this story. "We have very good relations, and very good communication, but I don't anticipate that this year."
Murphy expressed concern that Favre would get booed by Packers fans at Lambeau Field.
"That is an issue," Murphy said. "He doesn't want it, and neither do we. He wouldn't want to come back and get booed. You can't control 80,750 people. I really think as time goes on, every year that passes, it's less likely that he would get booed, but that is an issue."
Favre was booed loudly at Lambeau Field when he returned with the Vikings to play the Packers in the fall of 2009, although relations between Favre and the Packers have improved since the quarterback’s retirement from the Vikings following the 2010 season.
Murphy repeatedly has said that he would like the Packers to retire Favre’s number before his near-certain induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
When asked Thursday if he expects the Packers to retire Favre’s number in 2015, Murphy said: “Hopefully. That’s our hope.”
During an interview with Sirius XM Radio last month, Favre expressed a desire to eventually return to Green Bay to be honored.
“It’s going to happen, I’ll be back up there,” Favre said. “Again, my career in Green Bay, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was awesome. The people were awesome, and I just think everything’s going to be fine and in my opinion it is now. It’s just a matter of getting back up there.”
Record revenue, less profit in 2013
The Packers reported another year of record revenues in 2013, but income fell after some high-priced player moves.
The NFL's only publicly owned team said Thursday that revenue rose 5 percent from 2013 to $324 million. Murphy credited the boost to another winning season that culminated with a third straight NFC North title, as well as increased revenue sharing across the league.
Total expenses increased nearly 18 percent to $298 million. The Packers still drew a net income of $25 million, but that was down 41 percent from last year.
The Packers are required to release detailed financial data as a publicly owned team.
Murphy cited a $35 million spike in player costs to a record $171 million for much of the increase in expenses.
The Packers signed franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers and star linebacker Clay Matthews to contract extensions last year. This offseason, they signed free agent defensive end Julius Peppers and re-signed cornerback Sam Shields to big contracts.
All the deals came within the 2014 fiscal year calendar, contributing to the boost in expenses.
"It's a timing issue. Last year, we kind of predicted we would have a pretty significant increase in player costs," Murphy said in a conference call. He predicted that player costs would decline next year given its cyclical nature, even if the salary cap goes up.
Player costs would also cover expenses such as benefits, training camp and travel.
But overall, Murphy said the Packers had another strong year and that the team was "in a really sound position financially for the future."
He said the team is ranked 17th in the NFL in ticket prices, but ninth in total revenue. The Packers are one of the league's marquee teams, sporting a national fan base.
Green Bay has invested in Lambeau Field in the smallest market in the NFL. After recent upgrades to the sound system and video boards, the Packers added 7,000 new seats to the south end zone, getting an $8 million boost in tickets and concession sales and a $2 million boost in sponsorships.
For 2014, the team has a new, larger pro shop. It also rededicated a plaza named after former Packers President Bob Harlan. Green Bay plans to open a new east gate to the stadium.
A 4 percent increase in national revenue to $187.7 million was due primarily to NFL Network revenue split evenly among the league's 32 teams, Murphy said.
He also spoke about plans to create a "Titletown" district west of the stadium and cited the success of a Cabela's outdoors store that just opened there last year.
"We're going to continue to invest in the stadium and areas around the stadium, and make sure that Lambeau continues to be a great asset to the organization," Murphy said.