Top 10 most valuable NFL franchises in the US

Georgia Wilson
|Mar 9|magazine22 min read

Business Chief takes a look at the top 10 most valuable NFL franchises in the US from Forbes’ Sports Money: 2019 NFL Valuations.

 

10. Philadelphia Eagles

Established in 1933, the Philadelphia Eagles has been a franchise in its hometown since the beginning of its sports journey. In 1941, a unique swap happened between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers where both franchises swapped ownership and team players. In 1943, the franchises crossed paths again, combined for one season due to a manpower shortage and was known as Phil-Pitt and Steagles. Today, the Philadelphia Eagles has an operating income of US$150mn, and its home ground is the Lincoln Financial Field, costing US$360mn to build and has a capacity of 69,596.

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, American Airlines, Axalta Coating Systems, Banco Santander S.A., Coca-Cola, Comcast, Entercon, Lincoln Financial Group, MillerCoors, NovaCare, NRG Energy and Verizon. 

Franchise value: US$3.1bn 

Owner: Jeffrey Lurie (1994)

Training Ground: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

9. Houston Texans

Established in 1999, the Houston Texans is one of the newer franchises in the NFL. In 2002, the franchise’s debut game earned it its first victory against the Dallas Cowboys, making it the first time an expansion club had won an opening game since Minnesota defeated Chicagos in 1961. Today, the Houston Texans has an operating value of US$176mn, and its home ground is the NRG Energy Stadium which opened in 2002, costing US$449mn to build and has a capacity of 71,795.

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, BMW, Coca-Cola, Ford Motors, HEB, Houston Methodist, Hyundai, MillersCoors, NRG Energy, United Continental Holdings and Verizon.

Franchise value: US$3.1bn

Owner: Janice McNair (1999)

Training Ground: Houston, Texas

8. New York Jets

Established in 1960, the New York Jets started its on field journey as the Titans with reasonable success. However, in 1963, the franchise went bankrupt and was bought by Sonny Werblin and partners, who changed its name to the New York Jets. Today, the franchise has an operating income of US$82mn, and its home ground is the MetLife Stadium which opened in 2010 costing US$1.4mn to build and has a capacity of 82,500.

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, M&T Bank Corporation, JetBlue Airways Corporation, Atlantic Health System, MetLife, MGM Resorts International, NRG Energy, PepsiCo, SAP, Ticketmaster, Toyota and Verizon.

Franchise value: US$3.2bn 

Owner: Johnson family (2000)

Training Ground: Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, Florham Park, New Jersey

7. Washington Redskins

Established in 1932, the Washington Redskins are one of the most dominant franchises in the NFL. The franchise has gone through several name changes over the years, starting its journey as the Braves. In 1933, it moved to Fenway Park (Boston, Massecusett) changing its name to the Redskins, however, George Marshall (former owner of the Washington Redskins) wasn’t happy with Boston, and moved the team once more to Chicago, before finally settling in Washington D.C. in 1937 adopting the name Washington Redskins. Today, the franchise has an operating income of US$120mn, and its home ground is FedEx Field - owned by the team - which opened in 1997, costing US$250mn to build and has a capacity of 85,000.

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bank of America, FedEx and PepsiCo.

Franchise value: US$3.4bn 

Owner: Daniel Snyder (1999)

Training Ground: Richmond, Virginia

6. Chicago Bears

Established in 1920, the Chicago bears is one of the oldest NFL franchises, that started its sports journey as the Stanleys in Decatur, Illinois. After it won its first league championship in 1921, the franchise was renamed to the Chicago Bears. Today, the franchise has an operating income of US$62mn, and its home ground is the Soldier Field which opened in 2003, costing US$630mn to build and has a capacity of 61,500.

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Advocate Health Care, Dr. Pepper, MillerCoors, PNC, Proven, United Continental and Verizon.

Franchise value: US3.5bn

Owner: McCaskey family (1920)

Training Ground: Halas Hall, Lake Forest, Illinois

5. San Francisco 49ers

Established in 1946, the San Francisco 49ers were members of the All-American Football Conference (AAFC), ranking second best behind the Cleveland Browns. In 1950, the franchise moved to the NFL following the collapse of the AAFC. However, it wasn't until 1982 that the San Francisco 49ers won its first league championship at the XVI Super Bowl. Today, the franchise has an operating income of US$93mn, and its home ground is the Levi’s Stadium, which opened in 2014, costing US$1.3mn to build and has a capacity of 68,500. 

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, Dignity Health, Intel, Levi’s, NRG Energy, PepsiCo, SAP, Toyota, United Continental Holdings, VISA and Yahoo!.

Franchise value: US$3.5bn

Owner: Denise DeBartolo York and John York (1977)

Training Ground: Santa Clara, California

4. Los Angeles Rams

Established in 1936, the Los Angeles Rams is also one of the NFL’s oldest franchises, that began its sports journey in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1946, Dan Reeves (former owner of the Los Angeles Rams) moved the team to Los Angeles, receiving its first NFL championship game in 1945. Today, the franchise has an operating income of US$30mn, and its home ground is the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which opened in 1923, costing US$950,000 to build and has a capacity of 77,500. 

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Allbertsons, American Airlines,  Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Corona Extra, Hyundai, Pechanga and Unify.

Franchise value: US$3.8bn

Owner: Stanley Kroenke

Training Ground: Cal Lutheran Campus, Thousand Oaks, California (in season)

3. New York Giants

Established in 1925, the New York giants are truly entwined into the history of the NFL. For the young league a franchise in the nation's largest city was imperative to keep the league alive. Two years after its establishment, the New York Giants won its first championship in 1927. Today, the New York Giants’ home ground is the MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010 costing US$1.4mn to build and has a capacity of 82,500. The franchise itself generates US$142mn in operating income.

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Dell Technologies, PepsiCo, Quest Diagnostics Inc., SAP, Toyota and Verizon.

Franchise value: US$3.9bn

Owner: John Mara (1925) and  Steven Tisch (1991)

Training Ground: East Rutherford, New Jersey

2. New England Patriots

Established in 1960, the New England Patriots was given its name by a panel of Boston sportswriters in a contest. During its first decade, the franchise climbed the ladder to become a serious contender in the late 1970s. Today, the franchise has an operating income of US$240mn and opened its own stadium in 2002, the Gillette Stadium, which cost a total of US$325mn to build and has a capacity of 66,878.

The franchise’s major sponsors include: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Bank of America, BDSE, Dell Technologies, Draft Kings, Gillette, JetBlue, Optum, PepsiCo and Verizon

Franchise value: US$4.1bn 

Owner: Robert Kraft (Since 2004)

Training Ground: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

1. Dallas Cowboys

Established in 1960, the Dallas Cowboys won its first two divisional championships in 1966 and 1967. Despite not playing in the Super Bowl since 1995, the Dallas Cowboys still generate the most operating income compared to other NFL members, generating US$420mn in 2018. In 2009, the AT&T Stadium became the franchise's home ground, opening in 2009, the stadium cost US$1.2mn to build and has a capacity of 100,000. 

The franchise’s major sponsors include: American Airlines, AT&T, Bank of America, Ford Motors, Dr. Pepper, MillerCoors and PepsiCo.

Franchise value: US$5bn 

Owner: Jerry Jones (Since 1989)

Training ground: Ford Center at The Stars, Frisco, Texas