Vikings remain last in franchise values

The Vikings maintained their position at the bottom of Forbes' valuation of NFL teams without a new stadium deal in sight. The two appear to be closely tied together after a look at the new rankings.

Another year, more bad news from the Billionaire's Club.

Forbes magazine came out with its annual rating of the value of NFL teams and, once again, the Vikings pulled up last to the station. The Vikings checked in with a net value of $839 million for last among the NFL's 32 teams. How much does a new stadium help a franchise's value? Sunday's opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, jumped from 21st in value to eighth with the opening of Lucas Oil Field.

The Dallas Cowboys, who move into their new digs next year, were No. 1 at $1.62 billion, followed by the Washington Redskins at $1.58 billion and the New England Patriots at $1.324 billion. Both the New York Jets and New York Giants have new stadiums on the way and it was reflected in their values, as they round out the top five. Before getting approval for new stadium deals, the Giants were ranked eighth in value and the Jets were ranked 10th.

Thanks to increased revenue streams, TV contracts with all four of the major networks (ESPN and ABC are both subsidiaries of The Disney Company) and increases in merchandising agreements, the NFL has seen the value of its franchises grow sharply. Ten years ago, when Red McCombs bought the Vikings, the average value of a team was $288 million. When he sold the team to Zygi Wilf, that number had skyrocketed to $600 million. As of 2007, the average value has gone up to $1.04 billion.

With that kind of money available to some teams and not others almost exclusively because of revenue streams, it's no wonder Los Angeles is trying to woo a team to come play in its city. If the Vikings and the state can't come to some agreement, the disparity in team values will continue to grow. That is, until the Vikings are pushed into a corner and seriously consider relocating the team.

THURSDAY NOTES

  • Artis Hicks, who typically is one of the Vikings always available during the open media sessions on Wednesdays, was a no-show in the locker room during the 45-minute media period. That just fueled the speculation that he might be more injured than the team is letting on. Both after the game and Tuesday, Brad Childress said Hicks' injury isn't serious, and Hicks was lightly tapping a heavy blocking bag during the portion of practice open to the media. His elbow was braced up. Hicks did speak to reporters briefly following practice, but he did not get into specifics about the injury.

  • The Baltimore-Houston game Sunday is in some jeopardy as Hurricane Ike continues to bear down on the Texas coast. The league said Wednesday it is monitoring the situation and looking into potential options if the weather forces the game to be moved or postponed.

  • Fresh off his Monday night win over the Vikings, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has hired David Dunn as his new agent. Rodgers fired agent Mike Sullivan prior to the start of training camp.

  • The word out of New England is that, despite having Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper would not be a good fit with the Patriots, which employ a complicated scheme that changes from week to week and even series to series. Culpepper was sacked too many times over the last few years because he didn't make quick decisions, which are a prerequisite in New England.

  • The Colts will announce that they have released starting DT Ed Johnson today. Johnson's arrest for drug possession was the latest in a series of transgressions that put him in the league's substance abuse program, and the Colts have just as strict, if not stricter, team policies dealing with such matters.


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