What's an NFL Team Worth? 2014 Edition

NFL logo on football fieldWith the NFL 2014 Regular Season set to start on the Thursday the 4th of September, we take a look at what the NFL teams are worth and which are the most valuable.

Even as the Bills of Buffalo struggle to get a bid over $1 billion and only two years after the Browns sold for $987 million, and a few weeks ago the Clippers on the NBA were sold for $1 billion -- the NFL has not quite lost its ranking as the most valuable sports league in the world.

On the average, NFL teams are worth $1.43 billion, which is the highest value for teams in the last 17 years of statistics from Forbes. That figure is actually an increase from 2013 of 23% -- the biggest year to year increase since 1999.

The values Forbes puts on the teams are business values that consist of equity and net indebtedness, which is calculated with multiple revenues that can reflect every team’s current stadium economics.

Recently reports indicated the World’s most valuable soccer teams primarily from the English, Spanish, Italian and German leagues that had the average value of $1.05 billion, and MLB was at $811 million per team, the NBA was $634 million per team.

The sports team with the highest Forbes value is Real Madrid at $3.4 billion; in second place the Dallas Cowboys and Barcelona are tied at $3.2 billion.

Amazingly, the Cowboys, who have had only three postseason games in the past ten years, are still the NFL’s most valuable team and have ranked No. 1 for the last eight years. To finish the top in the NFL is the Patriots of New England, the Redskins of Washington and the Giants of New York. Those four teams also were the only NFL teams ranked in the top five in both stadium sponsorship and premium seating revenue in season 2013. Those same four teams had an increase in team value of 39% or more in 2013.

So what does that say about the NFL business in general?

It’s a great time to be an owner of an NFL team: last season the average NFL team had record revenues as well as record setting operating revenues, as each of the 32 teams in the NFL had record revenues of $170,000,000 primarily from license fees and broadcasting league-wide.