Forbes: Lions third-least valuable NFL team at $960M
NEW YORK — Forbes says the Lions are the third-least valuable NFL franchise in its latest estimates, released Wednesday.
The Lions are worth $960 million, Forbes estimates. That’s an increase from last year’s $900 million valuation but not enough to stop Detroit from dropping from 28th to 30th out of 32 NFL teams.
Forbes also said the Dallas Cowboys are the first U.S. sports franchise to top $3 billion in value.
For the eighth straight year, the Cowboys are worth the most of all 32 NFL franchises, valued at $3.2 billion. Only soccer team Real Madrid at $3.4 billion is worth more among global franchises.
The average NFL franchise value for 2014 is $1.43 billion, the highest in the 17 years the business magazine has tracked professional football. That shows a 23 percent increase, the largest in one year since 1999.
New England is second in value at $2.6 billion, followed by Washington ($2.4 billion) and the New York Giants ($2.1 billion).
At the bottom are Buffalo, worth $935 million and for sale after owner and Grosse Pointe Shores businessman Ralph Wilson’s death, and St. Louis at $930 million.
The Bills will leapfrog them once they're sold.
I'm kind of surprised by this. They pay almost nothing to use Ford Field and didn't incur a ton of debt service when they moved into it (they paid about 40 percent of the construction, right?). One would think a stadium deal like that would make them a much more valuable purchase than, say, the Chargers or Raiders.