How Much Are NFL Teams Worth After a Pandemic Season?

On average, the NFL's 32 teams are worth 14% more than last year according to "Forbes"

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Turns out he, and the 32 NFL teams, are doing fine financially despite the pandemic.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the 2021 NFL Draft.
Gregory Shamus/Getty

Though the NFL managed to play every scheduled game of the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 season, the league experienced a 20% drop in revenue to an average of $381 million per team. Despite that drop, the average value of an NFL team actually saw its largest gain in five years and rose 14% to $3.48 billion, according to Forbes.

The biggest reason for that jump was the $112 billion media rights deal the NFL signed with NBC, CBS, Fox, Amazon and ESPN/ABC in March that will be paying each team $377 million per year by the time it expires at the end of 2032. Add in the $1.5 billion Sunday Ticket deal the NFL has with DirecTV through 2032 and the league’s financial future looks even rosier.

That’s especially true if you are Jerry Jones, the 78-year-old owner of the Dallas Cowboys. For the 15th consecutive year, the Cowboys have been deemed the most valuable franchise in the NFL with a worth of $6.5 billion. “The Cowboys generate the most revenue ($800 million) and operating income ($280 million) in the league by a mile,” per Forbes. “Owner Jerry Jones is the league’s consummate salesman, and the team’s more than $200 million in combined sponsorship and advertising revenue is easily tops in the NFL.”

Super Bowl champions but worth less than half of what the Cowboys are valued at, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2.94 billion) saw the biggest one-year increase in value in the NFL, up 29% compared to last year thanks in large part to the arrival of Tom Brady. Other teams that saw an above-average value increase include the Los Angeles Rams (up 20% to $4.8 billion), Washington Football Team (up 20% to $4.2 billion) and Miami Dolphins (up 18% to $3.42 billion).

Following the Cowboys in overall value are the New England Patriots ($5 billion), New York Giants ($4.85 billion), Rams ($4.8 billion) and Washington ($4.2 billion value). Though they are a much-improved team, the Buffalo Bills are the NFL’s least valuable franchise at $2.27 billion. 

Forbes determines team value by looking at equity plus net debt, and adding the economics (including non-NFL revenue that accrues to the team’s owner) of the team’s stadium but not the value of the stadium real estate itself.

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