In 2020, the NFL experienced a 20% drop in revenue from 2019.
The pandemic kept fans from attending games and buying souvenirs, tickets, parking and other merchandise.
However, despite the $7.1 million average per team loss in revenue, money continued to flow into the coffers of the NFL.
According to a recent Forbes Magazine article, NFL franchises saw their values rise by an average of 14% to a staggering $3.48 billion.
That marks the highest increase in five years.
The Washington Football Team is now valued at $4.2 billion, according to Forbes's latest NFL valuations.
— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) August 5, 2021
While most companies, small businesses and the average American were losing value, money, homes and jobs during the Covid crisis, the NFL continued to rake in cash.
In addition to the average value of each franchise rising, the league itself signed a massive media rights deal in March.
The deal worth $111.8 billion represents an 82% average annual increase over the current agreements.
Each team will see a payout of $377 million, up from a lowly $220 million.
The NFL also has a venture capital arm called 32 Equity which has done very well.
This branch of the NFL’s money making arm has had returns in excess of 30% according to Forbes.
This gives each team a little over $100 million.
Who has benefitted the most?
With all this excess cash, NFL teams (and, specifically, their owners) have witnessed a windfall of value.
As expected, for the 15th year in a row, the Dallas Cowboys are the league’s highest-valued team.
The Cowboys are worth $6.5 billion, which is an increase of 14% from last year.
The team brings in the most revenue at $800 million and operating income at $280 million.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 23, 2014
Another team that saw a jump in valuation is Tampa Bay.
Based on the strength of their Super Bowl title last season, the Bucs witnessed the league’s largest jump in value at 29%.
With quarterback Tom Brady at the helm for at least another season or more, this value should only increase.
Rounding out the top five most valuable franchises are: Dallas, New England ($5 billion), New York Giants ($4.85 billion), LA Rams ($4.8 billion) and the Washington Football Team ($4.2 billion).
Where are the Browns ranked?
In the past two years, Cleveland has been immersed in a re-birth.
The franchise has a new coach, a reliable quarterback, top-flight skill players, the league’s best offensive line and a rebuilt defense.
Last season the Browns returned to the playoffs and even defeated division rival Pittsburgh in the first round.
Most talking heads portend another great year ahead for the team in 2021.
The @Browns look to close in on a playoff berth tonight against the Giants.@BakerMayfield was asked about the possibility of joining Cleveland at the NFL Draft combine in 2018, he said he was the guy to turn the franchise around. pic.twitter.com/O2MySrBkL6
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 20, 2020
With their recent success and the great expectations ahead, one might think the Browns team value has increased exponentially.
However, as Forbes found out, that has not been the case.
In the article, the Browns are ranked in the bottom third of the league.
Although they had an 11% increase from the previous year, Cleveland ranks 29th in the league with a value of $2.6 billion.
The operating income for the team is $5.7 million.
The teams who round out Forbes’ list are the Lions ($2.4 billion), Bengals ($2.275 billion) and the Bills ($2.27 billion).
However, as the Browns and Bills continue to improve and advance in the postseason, their team values should rise.
Just don’t expect them to surpass the Cowboys any time soon.