The National Football League, first established in 1920, expanded to twenty-six teams after the NFL and American Football League merged in 1960. While the initial years saw an instability with viewership and endorsements, it has become the golden goose of television, drawing millions of viewers at every game night. Along with television deals, a large portion of revenue is generated from licensing contracts, merchandising, and ticket sales. Sponsorship also plays a vital role in increasing a team’s valuation. This event earned $18 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach the $25 billion mark by 2027.
From the East to West coast, some of the best teams have grabbed top spots as the richest teams in the league. Let’s look at the most valuable NFL Teams as of 2022.
10 Denver Broncos- $3.75 billion
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Denver Broncos joined the American Football League in 1960 as an original franchise and later merged with the NFL. The Broncos have won three Super Bowls: 1998, 1999, and 2016. In 1984, Pat Bowlen bought the team for $78 million, and the valuation has increased to $3.75 billion today, as noted by Bloomberg.
9 Philadelphia Eagles- $3.8 billion
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In 1931, Frankford Yellowjackets made their debut in the NFL, and midway through the season, the team was bought by Bert Bell and Lud Wray for $2,500, who renamed it the Philadelphia Eagles. The team has won three NFL Championships in 1948, 1949, and 1960, and the Super Bowl in 2018. Jeffrey Lurie bought the team for $200 million in 1994, and the Eagles have a $3.8 million valuation today.
8 New York Jets- $4.05 billion
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The New York Titans, formed in 1959, debuted in the NFL in 1960. Three years later, the name was changed to New York Jets. With a valuation of $4.05 billion, the Jets have one NFL Championship, the Super Bowl III, which they won against the Baltimore Colts. Later, the owners of Johnson & Johnson bought the Jets in 2000 for $635 million.
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7 Chicago Bears- $4.075 billion
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Initially known as Decatur Stanleys, the team was renamed Chicago Bears in 1922 while playing in the American Professional Football Association. As mentioned by Britannica, George Hales was the founder and owner of the Bears who left the team to his daughter. Virginia Halas McCaskey is the owner of one of the most successful NFL teams that won the championship in 1986 and is valued at $4.075 billion.
6 San Francisco 49ers- $4.175 billion
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With the home base at the Levi’s Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers have five Super Bowl Championships under their belt, having won in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1995. Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. purchased the 49ers in 1997 for $13 million, and the current value of the team is $4.175 billion, which is now run by his daughter Denise DeBartolo York.
5 Washington Commanders- $4.3 billion
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The Redskins was a team set in Boston before moving to Washington DC in 1937. As the name and logo drew criticism from Native Indians, it was changed to the Washington Commanders in 2021. Daniel Snyder paid $800 million in 1999 to buy the team that has won two NFL Championships and three Super Bowls.
4 Los Angeles Rams- $4.8 billion
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Los Angeles Rams lacked on-field success until 1990 when owner Georgia Frontiere moved the Rams to St. Louis in 1995 and sold 30% of the stake to Stan Kroenke, who gained full ownership in 2010. The Rams have won two Championships: 2000 and 2022. According to Forbes, the team relocated to Los Angeles in 2016 for $550 million. The move was lucrative as the value of the team rose from $1.45 billion to $4.8 billion.
3 New York Giants- $4.85 billion
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Tim Mara bought the Giants for $500 in 1925, and the Mara family has continued to be part owners of the team even today. In 1991, Bob Tisch bought 50% shares of the Giants, which his son now owns. The team has a $4.85 billion valuation and has won four Super Bowls and four NFL Championships.
2 New England Patriots- $5 billion
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In 1994, Robert Kraft paid a record $172 million to purchase the New England Patriots, who went on to win six NFL Championships under his ownership. It remains one of the most consistently dominant teams and the second-most valued team, worth $5 billion. Initially called the Boston Patriots, the team was renamed after moving to Foxborough.
1 Dallas Cowboys- $6.92 billion
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As reported by NY Post, the Dallas Cowboys take the crown as the most valuable NFL Team and the second-most valuable franchise in American sports at $6.92 billion. It has won eight conference championships and five Super Bowls to date. In 1989, the team was purchased by Jerry Jones from H.R. Bright for $140 million.
Other notable teams include Houston Texans ($3.7 billion), Seattle Seahawks ($3.5 billion), and Green Bay Packers ($3.475 billion). These teams have managed to increase viewership of the game by drafting some of the world’s best athletes with a large fan base that spans across the country.
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Sources: Bloomberg, Britannica, Forbes, NY Post
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