Forbes: Packers 13th most valuable NFL team
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers are worth 20 percent more than one year ago, but they rank three spots lower in the NFL.
That's because once again every franchise in the 32-team league added value, some more than others, according to Forbes' annual ranking, released Wednesday. Overall, the value of NFL teams increased 19 percent to an average of $2.34 billion.
Forbes estimated the Packers' worth at $2.35 billion, 13th in the league. The Dallas Cowboys remained in the No. 1 spot with a valuation of $4.2 billion. The New England Patriots again were second at $3.4 billion, and the Buffalo Bills retained the bottom spot at $1.5 billion.
Forbes reporter Mike Ozanian wrote that two economic factors — immense profitability and content demand — allowed every team, no matter its circumstances, to increase value. Twenty-four teams saw double-digit increases last year, including all of those ranking 11th through 31st.
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Ozanian said no professional sports league sells its content for as much money on so many platforms. He cites as an example the sale of "Thursday Night Football" to CBS/NBC, NFL Network, Twitter and Verizon. The league's revenue sharing means every team benefits equally from those deals.
In addition, teams benefit from their local economic conditions. Dallas remains on top every year because owner Jerry Jones is a superb marketer with an excellent stadium and a $1.5 billion headquarters and practice facility under development.
Ozanian said business acumen counts more than bricks and mortar, but stadiums do count for a lot. The Minnesota Vikings, who play their first regular-season game Sunday in $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium, increased 38 percent, and the Atlanta Falcons, who move into $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium next year, were up 28 percent.
Topping them all were the Los Angeles Rams, who doubled their value by moving from St. Louis — jumping from 29th to 6th in the rankings — and Oakland, up 47 percent and 11 places in the rankings on speculation that the Raiders will either have a new stadium or a new Las Vegas address.
The Packers, operating in the smallest market in major professional sports, kept pace by good financial management and by investing in their business. Lambeau Field, counting the 2003 renovation and additional projects over the last five years, is at least an $800 million stadium and is among the largest in the league with an 80,000 capacity. The team enlarged its Packers Pro Shop at Lambeau Field significantly, put a lot of effort into increasing its online sales, and is developing the Titletown District adjacent to the stadium. Titletown District is a 35-acre commercial/residential/recreational development.
The Packers don't comment on the Forbes rankings.
Forbes said team values are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) based on multiples of revenue of historical transactions, as well as offers to buy and invest in teams currently on the table. Values are adjusted for teams moving into new stadiums.
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Most valuable NFL teams
1. Dallas Cowboys, $4.2 billion. Last year: No. 1
2. New England Patriots, $3.4 billion. Last year: No. 2
3.New York Giants, $3.1 billion. Last year: No. 4
4. San Francisco 49ers, $3 billion. Last year: No. 5
5. Washington Redskins, $2.95 billion. Last year: No. 3
13. Green Bay Packers, $2.35 billion. Last year: No. 10