SBD/September 9, 2011/NFL Season Preview

Cowboys Top Forbes' Valuations; Overall Team Values Rise 1.4%

The Cowboys for the fifth straight year rank as the "most valuable team" in the NFL, increasing 2% in value from last year to $1.85B, according to Kurt Badenhausen as part of FORBES' annual NFL valuations. The team earned $119M in operating income last season, "the most in the NFL for a second straight year." Cowboys Stadium "continues to be a gold mine" for team Owner Jerry Jones. The 320 suites and 15,000 club seats at the stadium "generate $115 million in revenue annually." The Cowboys are followed on the list by the Redskins, who remained even with the previous year at $1.55B. The Giants and Jets saw their values rise 10% and 7% respectively, in the inaugural season of their shared stadium. The Giants also saw premium seating revenue "jump from $8 million to more than $50 million," while the Jets "doubled sponsorship revenues to $35 million annually." Badenhausen noted the average NFL team value is $1.04B, up 1.4% over last year. Average revenues for the 32 teams "rose 4% compared with the previous season, to $261 million." Operating income fell 8.1% to an average of $30.6M per team, which Badenhausen noted was "due to higher costs for stadium operations, training facilities and marketing." But the new NFL CBA "will give owners a bigger slice of overall revenue." Also, the league's current TV deals with CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC are set to expire in '13, and owners "are expecting increases up to 60% on the current $3.1 billion average annual value of those deals" (FORBES.com, 9/7).

RK
TEAM
VALUE
1-YR
%+/-
DEBT/
VALUE
REVENUE
OPERATING
INCOME
1
Cowboys
$1.850B
2%
18%
$406M
$119.0M
2
Redskins
$1.555B
0%
26%
$352M
$65.6M
3
Patriots
$1.400B
2%
19%
$333M
$42.9M
4
Giants
$1.300B
10%
50%
$293M
$40.6M
5
Jets
$1.223B
7%
61%
$285M
$25.1M
6
Texans
$1.202B
3%
17%
$283M
$41.0M
7
Eagles
$1.164B
4%
9%
$274M
$28.9M
8
Bears
$1.093B
2%
11%
$265M
$43.4M
9
Packers
$1.089B
7%
2%
$259M
$12.0M
10
Ravens
$1.088B
1%
25%
$262M
$24.9M
11
Colts
$1.057B
2%
4%
$252M
$32.8M
12
Broncos
$1.046B
0%
14%
$255M
$28.5M
13
Steelers
$1.018B
2%
25%
$255M
$28.3M
14
Dolphins
$1.012B
0%
40%
$253M
$12.9M
15
Panthers
$1.002B
-3%
19%
$257M
$31.2M
16
Seahawks
$997M
1%
12%
$249M
$7.8M
17
49ers
$990M
7%
14%
$234M
$1.5M
18
Chiefs
$986M
2%
14%
$252M
$14.5M
19
Buccaneers
$981M
-5%
18%
$245M
$50.8M
20
Browns
$977M
-4%
15%
$247M
-$2.9M
21
Saints
$965M
1%
13%
$261M
$28.9M
22
Titans
$964M
-3%
13%
$250M
$21.8M
23
Chargers
$920M
1%
14%
$241M
$34.2M
24
Cardinals
$901M
-2%
17%
$240M
$56.4M
25
Bengals
$875M
-3%
11%
$232M
$49.4M
26
Lions
$844M
3%
33%
$236M
$44.7M
27
Falcons
$814M
-2%
34%
$233M
$27.2M
28
Vikings
$796M
3%
41%
$227M
$3.7M
29
Bills
$792M
-1%
16%
$236M
$40.9M
30
Rams
$775M
-1%
15%
$228M
$24.6M
31
Raiders
$761M
0%
16%
$217M
$23.0M
32
Jaguars
$725M
0%
17%
$236M
$32.8M

 

BREAKING IT DOWN: FORBES' Patrick Rishe analyzed the '11 NFL valuations to determine which franchises: 1) have been the most "economically savvy over the last 10 years;" 2) have seen "the largest changes in their fortunes in just the last 3 seasons compared to their decade trend;" and 3) have seen the "largest changes in fortune when comparing their 2010 and 2009 campaigns" (FORBES.com, 9/7).

POWERHOUSE POTENTIAL: FORBES' Jeff Bercovici noted the Packers are an "emerging financial power in the NFL." Despite their "minuscule market, revenues for fiscal 2010 hit an alltime high of $259 million, 11th out of 32 teams and well above major-market franchises" like the 49ers and the Falcons. The Packers' Super Bowl XLV win, combined with upcoming stadium enhancements and the new NFL CBA "will make them stronger still." National Football Post President Andrew Brandt said, "They're an anomaly. They're clearly the smallest-market team in all of professional sports, yet they're a high-revenue team with no debt. There are a lot of big-market teams that wish they had that kind of financial situation" (FORBES.com, 9/7).

CALIFORNIA DREAMS: In L.A., Jim Peltz noted the Forbes report indicated that if the Chargers relocate to the L.A. area, the franchise "could see its value jump by at least $200 million," or 21.7%. That would "lift the Chargers' value to $1.12 billion and make it the eighth most valuable NFL team based on Forbes' latest ranking." USC Sports Business Institute Exec Dir David Carter said, "Any team relocating to Los Angeles would likely find itself in the top quartile of teams" in terms of NFL valuations (L.A. TIMES, 9/8).

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