Forbes Values Saints at $2.08 billion
Despite the claims of detractors, the NFL remains the most popular sports league in the United States and the most lucrative in the world.
Chris Price is an award-winning journalist and public relations principal. When he’s not writing, he’s avid about music, the outdoors, and Saints, Ole Miss and Chelsea football. Price also authors the Friday Sports Column at BizNewOrleans.com.
What difference does a few months make?
For the New Orleans Saints about $75 million.
That’s how much the value of the team has increased since July. For a bit of perspective, consider Tom Benson paid $70 million for the Saints when he bought the team in 1985.
In its 21st annual NFL Team Valuations, Forbes estimated the Saints’ are worth $2.08 billion, putting them 26th out of 32 NFL teams. In its annual list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams, released this summer, the Black and Gold ranked No. 48 at $2 billion.
The Saints’ current value is a 4 percent increase from a year ago. Forbes believes New Orleans made $413 million in revenue and $115 million in operating income last year.
The NFL’s 32 franchises range in value from the Dallas Cowboys at $5 billion to the Buffalo Bills at $1.6 billion.
The Cowboys are the first team to reach the $5 billion mark, landing atop the list for the 12th straight year even though they haven’t been to the Super Bowl since they won it in 1996. That was 22 years ago, which means almost an entire generation of sports fans has not seen Dallas win a Lombardi Trophy. Still, the Cowboys are believed to have made $864 million in revenue last year, and cleared an operating income of $365 million – an average of $1 million a day over the past year.
The New England Patriots ($3.8 billion), New York Giants ($3.3 billion), Los Angeles Rams ($3.2 billion) and Washington Redskins ($3.2 billion) — teams all in the nation’s largest media markets — made up the league’s five most valuable clubs.
For the past several years, NFL team values have routinely seen double-digit percentage growth. When the Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles two years ago, their value doubled. This year, increases were minimal. Several teams saw no increase in value at all.
Forbes said the average NFL team is worth $2.57 billion, a 2 percent increase compared to last year and the smallest increase since 2011, when values decreased an average of 2 percent. The magazine said the decline was due in part to its methodology, which included offers to buy and invest in teams. The Carolina Panthers were sold for an NFL record $2.28 billion in a fire sale last year, but there was only one offer made that met the league rule that a single owning partner must control at least 30 percent of the team’s equity.
Forbes’ assistant managing editor Mike Ozanian was quoted as saying, “The reason for this year’s small increase is the dearth of people with the liquid wealth to buy 30 percent of an NFL team.”
Really? There’s a “dearth” of people who have $682.5 million in liquidity ready to buy a football team? C’mon.
Don’t feel bad for the owners for the modest increase, though. In the 21 years that Forbes has appraised franchise values, NFL teams’ worth has increased at an annual rate of 11.6 percent, almost three times the rate of the S&P 500.
Forbes 2018 NFL Valuations
Forbes’ 21st annual listing of the most valuable teams in the National Football League was released this week. The New Orleans Saints, valued at $2.075 billion, ranked 26th out of 32 NFL franchises. The average NFL team is worth $2.34 billion.
|2||New England Patriots||
New York Giants
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
|7||Chicago Bears||$2.9 B|
New York Jets
Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|29||Cleveland Browns||$1.95 B|