You want to know how well the NFL is going these days? Well, here’s one fact that says it all: there are 20 football teams worth a billion dollars. Twenty. Do you know how many baseball teams there are that are worth a billion? Three—the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox. And soccer teams? Try five—Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, and Bayern Munich. And here’s the really crazy thing: last year there were fifteen billion dollar football teams. So the NFL, already the most valuable pro sports league in the world, is just growing stronger and stronger.
Today, in honor of the start of the 2012 NFL season, we bring you this list of the 20 billion dollar NFL teams. The top spot is no surprise, but there are probably a few teams that fall where you wouldn’t necessarily expect. So check it out—hopefully your team is here and not one of the “losers” worth a measly $800 million (or approximately 4x the average NHL franchise).
Owner: Lamar Hunt Family
Revenue: $259 Million
Value % Increase: 2% (27th)
They may be 20th in terms of value, but the Chiefs were the 11th most profitable team in the league last year, earning $46.4 million (before taxes and interest, of course)
20. Kansas City Chiefs – $1.008 Billion
Owner: Bud Adams
Revenue: $262 Million
Value % Increase: 5% (15th)
Tennessee has been to the Super Bowl just once since they moved to Tennessee...and since they invented the Super Bowl. But as this list will demonstrate, winning and value are not necessarily related.
19. Tennessee Titans – $1.011 Billion
Owner: Malcolm Glazer
Revenue: $258 Million
Value % Increase: 5% (16th)
Remember what I just said about how winning and value not being related? Well, just look at the Bucs. Last year they went 4-12 and their value still increased by 5%.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $$1.033 Billion
Owner: Paul Allen
Revenue: $260 Million
Value % Increase: 4% (20th)
The Seahawks are another team with a .000 winning percentage in the Super Bowl that nevertheless is worth a bundle. There are 5 Super Bowl Championships and about 15 appearances among the teams that didn't even make this list because they're worth less than a billion bucks.
17. Seattle Seahawks – $1.04 Billion
Owner: Jerry Richardson
Revenue: $269 Million
Value % Increase: 5% (17th)
The Cardiac Cats have made just 4 playoff appearance in the 17 seasons they have existed. Yet they're still worth about twice as much as the St. Louis Cardinals, who have won 11 World Series Titles—second only to the New York Yankees.
16. Carolina Panthers – $1.048 Billion
Owner: Stephen Ross
Revenue: $265 Million
Value % Increase: 5% (18th)
I can't even remember the last time the Dolphins were good, but I know Dan Marino was still the quarterback. However, this is the NFL, and Miami is a huge market. So there you go.
15. Miami Dolphins – $1.06 Billion
Owner: The Rooney Family
Revenue: $266 Million
Value % Increase: 8% (9th)
Now here's a bit of a surprise. I would have thought the Steelers would be in the top 10 or even the top 5. Obviously, Pittsburgh is a smaller NFL market, but the Steelers have a national fan base, being the most successful team of all time and all. Maybe their valuation has something to do with the fact they are one of only three teams that actually lost money last year. (The other two? Oakland and Detroit. That's strange company.)
14. Pittsburgh Steelers – $1.1 Billion
Owner: Pat Bowlen
Revenue: $276 Million
Value % Increase: 8% (10th)
The Broncos worth more than the Steelers? That's just crazy. I mean, which team would you rather own?
In fact, this reminds me of something a wise man once said:
13. Denver Broncos – $1.132 Billion
Owner: James Irsay
Revenue: $268 Million
Value % Increase: 9% (6th)
Well this is interesting. Coming in at #12, just one spot ahead of Peyton Manning's new team, is Peyton Manning's old team. And it just so happens that they had the 6th highest increase in value over the last year. Coincidence?
12. Indianapolis Colts – $1.154 Billion
Owner: Stephen Bisciotti
Revenue: $279 Million
Value % Increase: 6% (14th)
11. Baltimore Ravens – $1.157 Billion
Revenue: $276 Million
% Increase: 7% (12th)
Could you even imagine how much the Packers might be worth if they weren't run like a non-profit?
10. Green Bay Packers – $1.161 Billion
Owner: Jed York
Revenue: $245 Million
Value % Increase: 19% (2nd)
The only team whose value increased more over the last year than San Francisco is Minnesota. And the Vikings still aren't worth a billion dollars. The reasons for these ginormous increases? Both teams got deals for new stadiums. Boom.
9. San Francisco 49ers – $1.175 Billion
Owner: The McCaskey Family (Virginia Halas McCaskey)
Revenue: $286 Million
Value % Increase: 9% (7th)
As far as I know, the Chicago Bears are the only NFL team with a recurring sketch about their fans (i.e., the Superfans). That's good publicity...even if it was 20 years ago.
8. Chicago Bears – $1.190 Billion
Owner: Jeffrey Lurie
Revenue: $296 Million
Value % Increase: 8% (11th)
When your team has a revenue of almost $300 million and is the 7th most valuable in the league, you can afford to overpay for Michael "More Delicate than Glass" Vick.
No, but seriously, I'm totally sure the Eagles are going to be a "dynasty." They did beat the Browns by 1 point in week one.
7. Philadelphia Eagles – $1.260 Billion
Owner: Woody Johnson
Revenue: $299 Million
Value % Increase: 5% (20th)
Even a three-ring circus like the Jets is worth one and a quarter billion dollars if it's based in the New York metropolitan area.
6. New York Jets – $1.284 Billion
Owner: Robert McNair
Revenue: $304 Million
Value % Increase: 9% (8th)
The Texans have only been around for 10 years and their already the 5th most valuable team in the NFL. Doesn't this make you wonder why there aren't more pro football teams in Texas.
5. Houston Texans – $1.305 Billion
Owner: John Mara & Steve Tisch
Revenue: $326 Million
Value % Increase: 13% (5th)
With 4 NFL Championships and 4 Super Bowl Championships, the Giants are now one of the most successful franchises of all time. And they're based in New York. So this one makes sense.
4. New York Giants – $1.468 Billion
Owner: Dan Snyder
Revenue: $373 Million
Value % Increase: 3% (23rd)
The Redskins dropped a spot from last year's rankings thanks to below-average growth this year. (The league-average was 6%.) But they're still twice as valuable as the lowliest franchise in the NFL—the Jaguars.
3. Washington Redskins – $1.600 Billion
Owner: Robert Kraft
Revenue: $380 Million
Value % Increase: 17% (3rd)
The Patriots are now the second most valuable NFL. I would say that this fact must really burn New York sports fans...but of course they won the Super Bowl last year, so they could care less how much the Pats are worth.
2. New England Patriots – $1.635 Billion
Owner: Jerry Jones
Revenue: $500 Million
Value % Increase: 14% (4th)
The Dallas Cowboys are in a league of their own. They're worth $465 million more than any other team; they're revenue is $120 million more than any other team; and their profit was $108 million more than any other team. Why? Well, first off, they're brand is the strongest in the league and has been since the 70s. That, in turn, is good for the two Ms: marketing and merchandising. The new Cowboys Stadium earned $80 million in advertising revenue last year, which was 33% more than any other team. And the Cowboys are the only team in the league that handles its own merchandise distribution—so that money is all theirs.
1. Dallas Cowboys – $2.1 Billion
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