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DEL Time: 09:36
Mastering the pro economic system is the first step towards mastering the game. Unless you understand what exactly the budget is and how it is counted, you will frequently receive unpleasant surprises when you find that you cannot make a trade or free agent signing because of budgetary problems. The most important part of your team's roster page in this regard is the "X.XX under budget" near the top. That tells you how much money you have available for spending on bonuses, new player salaries, free agents, and trades.

The other important things to watch are your financial outlook and your luxury tax. Your financial outlook is your expected income minus payroll for one season, not counting bonuses from press releases and money spent or gained in trades. The luxury tax only comes into play for teams with very high payroll; if you are paying a large luxury tax you should probably work on cutting some salary.


At the end of each season, your team will be given a budget, which is equal to the the estimated income of the team, plus 25% of any savings the team has (or minus 25% of the debt), plus 5%. Note that all elements are rounded independently, and the last element is always rounded down.

Thus rather than promoting parity between all teams (the reason for real-life salary caps; in DEL this is accomplished with the luxury tax), the DEL budget merely serves to curb gross overspending. If you join a league after games have begun, your budget will be pro-rated for the amount of the season remaining. In the extreme case, if you join in the playoffs, your budget will be zero. In such a case you will probably have to wait until the end of the season before making trades involving money.

Your income is calculated based on your record this season and your record last season. The table at bottom gives the minimum, average, and maximum possible income per sport.

Your only normal expenditure is your team salary. Players are paid per game, with the annual pay divided between preseason and regular season games. Postseason games give players more money than called for in their contracts, but also create more than the expected amount of income. At all times during the season, a team's salary spent plus money to be spent on salaries during the remainder of the season may not exceed the budget. Should a team go over, the GM will have his abilities restricted.

Note that the salary calculation is different during the offseason (end of one year until training camps of the next) than during the season. During the offseason, all of your players (normal players plus minor league and training squad players) are on the roster and thus the computer adjusts your salary based on its expectations of whom you will move to the minor league or training squad. Once training camps have been run, however, you will actually have to make those personnel moves for your salary to be calculated "properly".

Finally, trades can involve money. Money received in a trade is counted as negative salary spent, while money given away in a trade is counted as positivie salary spent. Note that while trades for money count against your budget, they do not count towards luxury taxes or minimum salary requirements.

At the end of the year, all teams in debt are charged 10% interest on their balance. All teams with positive money are allowed to carry over 90% of the money into the next season (and 100% of money earned during the previous season).

Luxury Tax

The luxury tax threshold in each league is set equal to the maximum revenue a team can earn (see table at bottom of page). If your payroll, including bonuses, exceeds the luxury tax threshold, the following amount is added to the team's salary and is paid pro-rated during each game.

Annual Tax = Excess * ( (2.5*Excess/Cap) + 0.5 )

As an example, suppose a baseball team had salaries plus bonuses of $100 million (an excess of $9.0 million), it would have to pay a luxury tax of $6.73 million per season.

Minimum Salary

Teams are required to spend a certain minimum tax on salaries each season. The minimum salary equals the minimum revenue a team can earn (see table at bottom of page). If your payroll, including bonuses and buyouts, is below the minimum, the difference will be added to your salary and paid pro-rated during each game.


Stadiums are only important in baseball and soccer leagues, where characteristics of the field influence the games:

  • Baseball: Turf (artificial or natural) and distance to center field
    Artificial turf makes most ground balls harder to handle (they bounce better and roll better), but reduces the number of bad bounces. A larger field reduces the number of home runs, but makes it harder for the outfielders to cover everything as well. The "Modify Field" button in your team control menu can be used to modify your field during the offseason.
  • Soccer: pitch dimensions (in meters), and grass depth.
    The pitch length must be between 90 and 120 meters, and divisible by 5. The width must be between 55 and 85, again divisible by 5. The grass depth is a value from 1 (short) to 5 (long). The size of the pitch affects the pace of game play. The more space between the goals, and the longer the attacking team has to move the ball to get into scoring position. The wider the field, the more room there is for maneuver. Longer grass slows the ball down, making it a little easier to control. The "Modify Pitch" button in your team control menu can be used to modify your pitch. Only the grass length may be changed during the season.

Team Income Reference Values:

Useful NumbersBaseballBasketballFootballHockeySoccer
Maximum revenue$91.0M$67.0M$77.0M$73.0M$52.5M
Average revenue$72.5M$57.5M$69.0M$58.5M$42.0M
Minimum revenue$54.0M*$48.0M$61.0M$44.0M$31.5M
Fraction of salary paid/game1/1621/881/191/881/41

* Note: EPBL revenues are $5M higher due to additional levels of minor leagues.


There are several ways to get extra money in DEL. All of these rewards add to your bottom line bank balance, but do not increase your budget space for the current season. So while you cannot use rewards to overcome short-term budget shortages, they can add a lot of spending power over the long term.

All leagues offer press release bonuses, which are given weekly to coaches who write at least one substantial press release the previous week. (Writing multiple releases does not give you a double reward.) The amounts given are $0.7 million in baseball and football and $0.5 million in other sports.

Teams in DEL cup games get weekly bonuses of the twice that amount as long as they remain in the DEL cup.

Finally, several leagues have various rewards set up by their commissioners. These can be periodic press columns, press release competitions, or virtually anything imaginable.

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