It’s that time of year again. Time for Forbes to rank the NFL’s most valuable franchises, just to show you how far you are from ever owning one.
Good news for you Eagles fans: The team is the 7th most valuable franchise in the league. YAY, JEFFREY LURIE CAN USE THOUSAND DOLLAR BILLS TO MAKE SUMMER ROLLS! The bad news? They’re in the basement as far as NFC East teams go. That’s right. Four of the top seven most valuable teams reside in the NFC East, with Dallas and Washington coming in at one and two respectively. I hereby rechristen the East the Platinum Division.
These rankings fascinate me every year, because the value of these teams is so mind-boggling huge. Despite the fact that twenty of the league’s teams actually decreased in value this year (Jacksonville by over 16%, which is what they get for not drafting Tebow), half these teams are valued at over a billion dollars or more. And only two of them appear to be losing money: Miami and Detroit (of course Detroit).
Earlier this week, my colleagues at Deadspin released these confidential files that showed many small-market baseball teams rake in cash despite claiming they lose money. They earn gobs of cash through revenue sharing and decidedly generous tax benefits on their player payrolls. I have no doubt the NFL practices similar accounting magic.
The NFL, as you know, is moving closer to a labor crisis, and NFLPA head DeMAurice Smith has asked repeatedly in public for the NFL to open up their books to show how the current collective bargaining agreement hurts their ability to make money.
You don’t need to see the NFL’s open books to know that the current CB probably doesn’t hurt their bottom line much at all. Only two teams publicly seem to be losing money, and I suspect those teams, if you look at their books, aren’t really losing money at all. So if there’s a lockout this March, and we end up without the NFL in 2011, you’ll excuse me if I place juuust a small amount of blame on the gentlemen who own the teams included on this list, Jeffrey Lurie included.