You Won’t Believe How Much The World’s Most Valuable Sports Team Costs

Written By Grant Lucas on October 8, 2019 - Last Updated on June 8, 2022
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Football is king.

The axiom proves true in the legal sports betting industry, which generated roughly $10 billion nationwide between June 2018 and July 2019. In New Jersey–the standard in this new world of state-sanctioned wagering–operators have taken in $3.7 billion in bets over the past 14 months.

Betting on NFL football accounts for 17% of wagers placed. That figure might pale in comparison to other categories, but consider that football takes up about five months of the year as opposed to most other sports that span between seven and nine months.

But football is king off the field. And Forbes can prove it.

The Dallas Cowboys topped the publication’s list of most valuable sports teams in the world recently. America’s team accomplished such feat for the fourth straight year. Valued at $5.5 billion, Dallas is only the spearhead of NFL wealth, which will only continue to grow.

NFL values trending upward

The league boasts three franchises in Forbes‘ top 10, including the New England Patriots at No. 7 and the New York Giants at No. 10. Of the NFL’s 32 teams, 26 of them rank in the top 50. No other league worldwide as more than nine teams listed.

Looking at the NFL alone, the Cowboys franchise stands as the league’s most valuable team for the 13th straight year. Dallas and New England both exceeded $4 billion in value, two of eight franchises with an estimated worth of over $3 billion.

For perspective, Dallas’ value in 2014 was just $2.3 billion.

TeamCurrent Value
Dallas Cowboys$5.5 billion
New England Patriots$4.1 billion
New York Giants$3.9 billion
Los Angeles Rams$3.8 billion
San Francisco 49ers$3.5 billion
Chicago Bears$3.45 billion
Washington Redskins$3.4 billion
New York Jets$3.2 billion
Houston Texans$3.1 billion
Philadelphia Eagles$3.05 billion
Denver Broncos$3 billion
Oakland Raiders$2.9 billion
Green Bay Packers$2.85 billion
Pittsburgh Steelers$2.8 billion
Seattle Seahawks$2.78 billion
Miami Dolphins$2.76 billion
Atlanta Falcons$2.76 billion
Baltimore Ravens$2.75 billion
Minnesota Vikings$2.7 billion
Indianapolis Colts$2.65 billion
Los Angeles Chargers$2.5 billion
Carolina Panthers$2.4 billion
Jacksonville Jaguars$2.33 billion
Kansas City Chiefs$2.3 billion
New Orleans Saints$2.28 billion
Arizona Cardinals$2.25 billion
Tampa Bay Buccaneers$2.2 billion
Cleveland Browns$2.18 billion
Tennessee Titans$2.15 billion
Cincinnati Bengals$2 billion
Detroit Lions$1.95 billion
Buffalo Bills$1.9 billion

NFL franchise price tags jumping quickly

Across the league, year-over-year values didn’t just jump, they skyrocketed.

Every franchise saw its value rise since 2018, including 22 teams that jumped by at least 10%.

At the top of the list, the Oakland Raiders saw a 20% spike in value. It makes sense, considering the team’s pending move to Las Vegas into a stadium that is nearing $2 billion.

Three franchises had values increase by 19%, including the Los Angeles Rams. Now seen as perennial contenders, the Rams will soon lay roots inside a nearly $5 billion venue that will also have the Los Angeles Chargers as a tenant.

TeamYoY %
Oakland Raiders20%
Los Angeles Rams19%
Chicago Bears19%
Buffalo Bills19%
New York Giants18%
San Francisco 49ers15%
Detroit Lions15%
Denver Broncos13%
New York Jets12%
Minnesota Vikings12%
Jacksonville Jaguars12%
Cleveland Browns12%
Houston Texans11%
Philadelphia Eagles11%
Indianapolis Colts11%
Cincinnati Bengals11%
Dallas Cowboys10%
Washington Redskins10%
Los Angeles Chargers10%
Kansas City Chiefs10%
New Orleans Saints10%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers10%
Green Bay Packers9%
New England Patriots8%
Pittsburgh Steelers8%
Seattle Seahawks8%
Miami Dolphins7%
Atlanta Falcons6%
Baltimore Ravens6%
Arizona Cardinals5%
Tennessee Titans5%
Carolina Panthers4%

Team revenue is also climbing in the NFL

What good is a business without a profit?

Somehow, the NFL’s popularity continues to swell. As a result, so do revenue totals. During the 2017 season, the 10 highest-valued franchises in the league averaged $461.5 million in revenue. A year later, that total ballooned to $536.2 million.

Shouldering the load, the Cowboys enjoyed $950 million in revenue, the most of any US sports team.

Team2018 Revenue
Dallas Cowboys$950 million
New England Patriots$600 million
New York Giants$519 million
Houston Texans$497 million
Washington Redskins$493 million
San Francisco 49ers$492 million
Philadelphia Eagles$482 million
New York Jets$475 million
Atlanta Falcons$458 million
Green Bay Packers$456 million
Chicago Bears$453 million
Denver Broncos$446 million
Miami Dolphins$443 million
New Orleans Saints$441 million
Pittsburgh Steelers$439 million
Seattle Seahawks$439 million
Baltimore Ravens$438 million
Minnesota Vikings$427 million
Carolina Panthers$424 million
Jacksonville Jaguars$424 million
Kansas City Chiefs$410 million
Los Angeles Rams$401 million
Arizona Cardinals$400 million
Tampa Bay Buccaneers$400 million
Cleveland Browns$399 million
Tennessee Titans$394 million
Indianapolis Colts$393 million
Buffalo Bills$386 million
Detroit Lions$385 million
Cincinnati Bengals$380 million
Los Angeles Chargers$375 million
Oakland Raiders$357 million

NFL values will continue to increase

This trend of increasing value should certainly continue.

As Forbes noted, the Chicago Bears received an offer for $4 billion, while the Indianapolis Colts received interest to the tune of $3.2 billion. This comes after the Carolina Panthers sold for $2.3 billion last year, and only a few years after the Buffalo Bills (in 2014) and Cleveland Browns (2012) went for $1.4 billion and $1 billion, respectively. (Double-edged sword: The NFL has considered adjusting ownership rules as asking prices for franchises continue to skyrocket.)

The NFL owns TV deals with a variety of networks, which average $7.2 billion each season. With the league accounting for three of the top four regular shows among viewers ages 19 to 49, and after accounting for 40 of the top 50 US audiences in 2018, these values should only increase—substantially.

Add in the expansion of legalized wagering, and LHB Sports, Entertainment & Media’s Lee Berke, per Forbes, believes those media deals will double on average during the next round of negotiations, which are likely to come in 2022.

These owners are going to need thicker wallets, for sure.

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Written by
Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.

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