What costs would the New England Patriots have considered when analyzing the purchase of team planes and when pricing the rental of its team planes?

Photo of tweet of Patriots' team planeThe New England Patriots recently became the first National Football League (NFL) franchise to buy its own team aircraft. The Patriots purchased two Boeing 767 planes for a total of about $10 million. Both planes have been painted with the team’s logo and colors.

The Patriots will use the planes for the ten round trips for its away games during the 2017 – 2018 season. If the team would make the playoffs or Super Bowl, it would also use the planes for those games.

If a franchise does not own its own planes, the costs of chartering planes is estimated to be about $4 million for the season.

The Patriots management has indicated that it may rent out the planes when not in use by the team.

Discussion Questions

  1. List the costs that a team could incur when chartering aircraft to fly its team to the away games. Use your imagination?
  2. List the costs that a team could incur when owning and flying its own aircraft for transporting the team to away games. Again, use your imagination.
  3. Compare your two lists of costs. What costs appear on both lists? What costs would have been relevant to the New England Patriots’ aircraft purchase decision?
  4. What qualitative factors would have influenced the Patriots’ aircraft decision?
  5. What costs would be relevant to the pricing decision for renting the planes when not in use by the team?
  6. Do you think aircraft depreciation is a relevant cost to consider when pricing the rental of the Patriots’ aircraft? Why or why not?
  7. What capital budgeting tools could the Patriots have used to analyze this aircraft purchase decision?

Instructor Resources

These resources are provided to give the instructor flexibility for use of Accounting in the Headlines articles in the classroom. The blog posting itself can be assigned via a link to this site OR by distributing the student handout below. Alternatively, the PowerPoint file below contains a bullet point overview of the article and the discussion questions.

  • Student handout (pdf) (word) (contains entire blog posting + discussion questions)
  • PowerPoint file (brief article overview + discussion questions)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Education.

2 Responses to “What costs would the New England Patriots have considered when analyzing the purchase of team planes and when pricing the rental of its team planes?”

  1. Hello Wendy,

    Good stuff in your posts. Thanks!

    I’m just wondering if you have anything in the horse industry, for horse trainers, breeders, racers, etc. I’ve got some students who would enjoy these and it would bring it home for them.

    Thanks again

    On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 6:17 AM, Accounting in the Headlines wrote:

    > Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CGMA posted: “The New England Patriots recently > became the first National Football League (NFL) franchise to buy its own > team aircraft. The Patriots purchased two Boeing 767 planes for a total of > about $10 million. Both planes have been painted with the team’s logo and” >

  2. Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CGMA Reply August 29, 2017 at 10:04 am

    At this point, I have not seen a news story in that industry that I could related to accounting. I will keep my eyes open – or if you see any stories, send them my way. Thanks!

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