On Thursday, we may have not only found out why Zygi Wilf is desperate for a new stadium, but why he has an interest in bringing big-time soccer to Minnesota.
Forbes magazine came out with its annual list of the values of professional sports franchises and, to the surprise of few, all of the NFL's 32 teams were included in the top 45 professional franchises. What may not have been as expected was the number of soccer teams that made the top end of franchise values.
The top spot went to the soccer team Manchester United, which is owned by the Glazer family, the same family that owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is valued at $1.86 billion. The Dallas Cowboys checked in second at $1.81 billion and baseball's New York Yankees are currently No. 3 at $1.7 billion.
While the NFL dominated this list, there were no teams from the NBA or NHL that made it into the top 45. However, the NFL was far from alone.
Soccer notched in six franchises, many of whom casual sports fans – No. 1 Manchester United, No. 5 Real Madrid, No. 7 Arsenal, No. 19 Bayern Munich, No. 26 Barcelona and No. 34 AC Milan.
Major League Baseball landed five franchises, but just one in the top 30 valued franchises. The handful of teams that made the list included No. 3 New York Yankees, No. 31 Boston Red Sox, No. 38 Los Angeles Dodgers, No. 42 Chicago Cubs and No. 44 New York Mets.
The other two non-NFL teams were involved in the auto racing realm – No. 13 Ferrari Racing Team and No. 37 McClaren Auto Racing.
Half the NFL's 32 teams are valued at $1 billion or above, with a couple more likely to hit that mark soon. The Vikings are 30th among NFL teams and 41st overall at $774 million. The only teams behind them are Oakland and Jacksonville, two other teams desperate to get a new stadium.
These are the estimated values of the 32 franchises, according to Forbes, with the numbers representing the rankings among NFL teams first and overall second:
1/2 – Dallas Cowboys $1.81 billion.
2/4 – Washington Redskins $1.55 billion.
3/6 – New England Patriots $1.37 billion.
4/8 – New York Giants $1.18 billion.
5/9 – Houston Texans $1.17 billion.
6/10 – New York Jets $1.14 billion.
7/11 – Philadelphia Eagles $1.12 billion.
8/12 – Baltimore Ravens $1.07 billion.
9/14 – Chicago Bears $1.07 billion.
10/15 – Denver Broncos $1.05 billion.
11/16 – Indianapolis Colts $1.04 billion.
12/17 – Carolina Panthers $1.04 billion.
13/18 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers $1.03 billion.
14/20 – Green Bay Packers $1.02 billion.
15/21 – Cleveland Browns $1.02 billion.
16/22 – Miami Dolphins $1.02 billion.
17/23 – Pittsburgh Steelers $996 million.
18/24 – Tennessee Titans $994 million.
19/25 – Seattle Seahawks $989 million.
20/27 – Kansas City Chiefs $965 million.
21/28 – New Orleans Saints $955 million.
22/29 – San Francisco 49ers $925 million.
23/30 – Arizona Cardinals $919 million.
24/32 – San Diego Chargers $907 million.
25/33 – Cincinnati Bengals $905 million.
26/35 – Atlanta Falcons $831 million.
27/36 – Detroit Lions $817 million.
28/39 – Buffalo Bills $779 million.
29/40 – St. Louis Rams $779 million.
30/41 – Minnesota Vikings $774 million.
31/43 – Oakland Raiders $758 million (the slide show is worth the price of admission to see the Al Davis photo they chose to use.)
32/45 – Jacksonville Jaguars $725 million.
There is a reason the Vikings are negotiating to get a new stadium. Considering the value of NFL franchises around the country, they are looking to (one way or another) get the team out of the financial basement.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Vikings 30th in Forbes' NFL rankings
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