By Haddon Libby

Long-time football coach Lou Holtz once said this about his sport: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it.”

If the valuations of NFL teams are a gauge, the league has the ability, motivation, and attitude to make a lot of money.  Those subscribing to NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTubeTV will find that full access to all games will cost between $299 and $489 this year.   Those attending in person will find that the LEAST expensive seats for each NFL team range from $50 to $250.

While the cost to view a game in person or media is high, broadcast rights are astronomical.  National media rights alone bring in more than $10 billion a year.  All sponsorships deals add nearly $20 billion with licensed products like jerseys and caps contributing another $3 billion.


Forbes recently released its current ranking of NFL Team Valuations.

Bringing in the most income at more than $1.1 billion was Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.  With operating income of more than $500 million, the team is currently valued at $9 billion.

Second on the list is a team where some fans call themselves ‘chowdahheads’.  Robert Kraft’s New England Patriots are worth $7 billion.  With revenues of $684 million, the team has an operating income of $206 million.

Stan Kroenke’s Rams are entering their seventh season in Los Angeles yet rank as the third most valuable franchise at $6.9 billion with the second highest revenues at $686 million and $125 million in operating profits.

The New York Giants (who play in New Jersey) are fourth with a valuation of $6.8 billion.  Operating income is the second highest at $216 million on $639 million in revenues.  The Mara family have owned the team since the league’s inception in 1925.  Tim Mara, the family patriarch, started in life as a paperboy and courier for bookies.  Mara eventually became the legal in-track bookmaker for Belmont Park, the racetrack.

‘Da Bears come in fifth with a value of $6.3 billion.  With $556 million in revenues, the team generates $203 in operating income.  The Halas-McCaskey family have owned the team since its formation in 1921.  Virginia Halas McCaskey, 100, remains the principal owner.  Her father, George Halas, bought the franchise when she was two years old.

The Silver and Black come in sixth with a valuation of $6.2 billion.  Founded in 1960 as part of the American Football League by Al Davis, the team was part of the merger into the NFL in 1970.

Rounding out the top ten are the New York Jets at $6.1 billion, the recently sold Washington Commanders at $6.05 billon, San Francisco 49ers at $6 billion and Philadelphia Eagles at $5.8 billion.

The least valuable NFL franchises remain very valuable assets.  The Cincinnati Bengals are at the bottom with $498 million in revenues and $104 million in operating income.  A team that you would expect that the bottom – the Detroit Lions – are close with a value of $3.6 billion.  With similar revenues to the Bengals, the Lions have the lowest operating income level in the league at $51 million.  Rounding out the bottom five are the Buffalo Bills at $3.7 billion, Arizona Cardinals at $3.8 billion and Jacksonville Jaguars at $4 billion.

For comparison, the most valuable baseball team is the New York Yankees at $7.1 billion.  The Golden State Warriors are the most valuable NBA team at $7 billion with soccer’s Real Madrid at $6.1 billion and the New York Rangers at $2.2 billion.

Haddon Libby is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Winslow Drake Investment Management.  For more information on our services, please visit