Top 5 Most Valuable NFL Franchises

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The NFL is a big-money business and its value continues to grow.

The 32 franchises bear witness to this, increasing their value by 28% compared to 2021 and reaching an average value of $4.47 billion.

This growth is partly due to the recent sale of the Denver Broncos franchise to $4.65 billion. That’s 24% more than the franchise’s estimated value in 2021.

The NFL has also seen huge popularity recently; 75 of the 100 most-watched US TV programs in 2021 were NFL games.

Unsurprisingly, domestic media rights and royalties make up a large part of the value of each franchise. Each receives approximately $345 million per year of the NFL’s national income.

It looks like these contributions will only increase as sports betting continues to boost NFL revenue.

However, the most valuable franchises also maximize their value through massive sponsorship deals, renting out their stadiums, and selling games.

But what’s most interesting is that winning isn’t everything.

After all, the NFL is a business, and its most valuable franchises prove that even losing organizations can still be worth billions.

1. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are not only the most valuable franchise in the NFL, but also the most valuable franchise in all of sports.

Image: Wikimedia.org

In August, Team America was calculated to be worth a whopping $8 billionimproving its 2021 value by 23%.

2022 is the 14th straight year the Cowboys have been the NFL’s most valuable franchise.

This comes despite the Cowboys not winning a Super Bowl in over 26 years.

Instead of winning, the Cowboys are relying on their huge fanbase to make their money.

The franchise frequently sells out its 100,000 seat stadium and wins $100 million per year of the only sale of premium tickets.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is also known for striking huge sponsorship and publicity deals, including a naming rights deal on their stadium with AT&T that’s worth a lucrative $17-19 million per year.

2. New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are the most successful team of the 21st century and were recently rated at $6.4 billion.

New England Patriots
Image: Wikimedia.org

This is the 11th year for the franchise ranked as the second most valuable in the NFL.

Boston, the largest city near the stadium in New England, has a population of less than 700,000, giving the Patriots a much smaller local fanbase than other franchises on this list.

However, the Patriots made up for it with numerous Super Bowl victories and superstars, like Tom Brady, making the franchise globally popular and extremely valuable.

During the 2015-16 season, sales of Brady’s jersey alone brought the Patriots $20 million.

Although Brady left the team in 2020, the franchise remains popular.

The Patriots also sought to increase their value by investing in stadium improvements, adding 50,000 square feet of hospitality space that will be open year-round.

3. Los Angeles Rams

Winning a Super Bowl has been shown to increase franchise value by approximately 7%.

The Los Angeles Rams live this first hand; their value jumped to $6.2 billionafter winning the league game last year.

Los Angeles Rams
Image: Wikimedia.org

While the Super Bowl win boosted the value of the Rams, the biggest shift in franchise fortunes came when owner Stan Kroenke successfully moved the franchise from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016.

The move increased average game attendance from 52,400 in 2015 to over 71,000 in 2021.

Now the Rams are one of the most valuable sports teams in the world.

4. New York Giants

New York City is home to some of the most famous sports franchises in the world.

This, along with its sports-mad population of 8.8 million, led BCW Sports to name it the Sports Capital of the World in 2021.

New York Giants
Image: rawpixel.com

This huge fanbase has helped the New York Giants be valued at $6 billion, despite having the NFL’s second-worst record since 2016 (22-57).

However, the Giants also make huge amounts of money outside of the NFL by using MetLife Stadium to host several non-NFL related events such as football, WWE, and XFL.

MetLife hosted two WWE WrestleManias in 2013 and 2019, with the event in 2019 generating $16.9 million in revenue.

5. Chicago Bears

The value of the Chicago Bears has increased by 42%, from 2021 to 2022, to reach $5.8 billion.

This is largely thanks to the franchise’s plans to build a new stadium.

Chicago Bears
Image: rawpixel.com

As one of the few NFL teams currently renting a stadium, the Bears’ growth potential is enormous.

A new stadium would significantly improve revenue through increased ticket sales, hosting non-NFL-related events, and securing lucrative sponsorship deals.

The Bears are also the only NFL franchise in Chicago, which is the NFL’s third-largest market behind New York and Los Angeles.

This will be an extremely attractive proposition for any potential buyer and ensures that local interest in bears will always remain high.

Main image: Peter Bond/Flickr

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