In a yearly rite of passage, Forbes enters the world of sports for a brief moment before heading back to the nerd table and lets the rest of us know that owning a team in the NFL is a good business decision that just keeps getting better.
The magazine came out with its team valuations this week and the Dallas Cowboys became the first NFL franchise to be valued at $4 billion. The Vikings made the move all the way up to 18th with their new stadium waiting in the wings, showing how the value of a franchise has a direct connection to the building it plays in.
How big a difference can it make? Five years ago, the Vikings were the 30th-ranked franchise, valued at just $774 million. Now they’re worth $1.59 billion – more than doubling its value in the span of five years.
As recently as 2010, Forbes valued half of the NFL’s teams at more than $1 billion. Five years later, the lowest value of a franchise is Buffalo at $1.44 billion. The list below shows the current valuation of the NFL’s 32 franchises and what those values were in 2010. Every franchise value has spiked significantly with half the teams more than doubling in value. In parentheses is what the franchises were deemed as being worth in 2010. The increases are stunning.
- Dallas Cowboys – $4 billion ($1.8 billion, 1st)
- New England Patriots – $3.2 billion ($1.37 billion, 3rd)
- Washington Redskins – $2.85 billion ($1.55 billion, 2nd)
- New York Giants – $2.8 billion ($1.18 billion, 4th)
- San Francisco 49ers – $2.7 billion ($925 million, 22nd)
- New York Jets – $2.6 billion ($1.14 billion, 6th)
- Houston Texans – $2.5 billion ($1.17 billion, 5th)
- Chicago Bears – $2.45 billion ($1.07 billion, 9th)
- Philadelphia Eagles – $2.4 billion ($1.12 billion, 7th)
- Green Bay Packers – $1.95 billion ($1.02 billion, 14th)
- Denver Broncos – $1.94 billion ($1.05 billion, 10th)
- Baltimore Ravens – $1.93 billion ($1.07 billion, 8th)
- Pittsburgh Steelers – $1.9 billion ($996 million, 17th)
- Indianapolis Colts – $1.88 billion ($1.04 billion, 11th)
- Seattle Seahawks – $1.87 billion ($989 million, 19th)
- Miami Dolphins – $1.85 billion ($1.01 billion, 16th)
- Atlanta Falcons – $1.67 billion ($831 million, 26th)
- Minnesota Vikings – $1.59 billion ($774 million, 30th)
- Carolina Panthers – $1.56 billion ($1.04 billion, 12th)
- Arizona Cardinals – $1.54 billion ($919 million, 23rd)
- Kansas City Chiefs – $1.53 billion ($965 million, 20th)
- San Diego Chargers – $1.525 billion ($907 million, 24th)
- New Orleans Saints – $1.52 billion ($955 million, 21st)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $1.51 billion ($1.03 billion, 13th)
- Cleveland Browns – $1.5 billion ($1.02 billion, 15th)
- Tennessee Titans – $1.49 billion ($994 million, 18th)
- Jacksonville Jaguars – $1.48 billion ($725 million, 32nd)
- St. Louis Rams – $1.45 billion ($779 million, 29th)
- Cincinnati Bengals – $1.445 billion ($905 billion, 25th)
- Detroit Lions – $1.44 billion ($817 million, 27th)
- Oakland Raiders – $1.43 billion ($758 million, 31st)
- Buffalo Bills – $1.44 billion ($799 million, 28th)
If you ever wondered why the NFL is the gold standard of the business world, you need look no farther than how much the franchises are worth. At a time when the country was going through its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the NFL was seemingly printing money. That growth shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, it’s speeding up and building new stadiums has only augmented the value of teams that weren’t viewed as hot commodities with the storied successful franchises only grow faster.
If you needed any proof that the NFL is the king of sports in the United States, the valuations of their 32 franchises provide that empirical evidence.