All you have to do is look at how much money the richest team owners have to understand just how lucrative the NFL is. The sport is swimming in cash, and the teams are as valuable as ever. Most professional football teams are worth billions of dollars, but these are the most valuable NFL teams in 2018.
The No. 1 team on our countdown is decidedly the most valuable team in the NFL and the world, according to Forbes. Meanwhile, the team at No. 9 barely makes the top 10 even though it plays in one of America’s biggest cities.
20. Indianapolis Colts
Value: $2.37 billion
The Colts haven’t been quite the same since record-breaking quarterback Peyton Manning left town, but the team’s value isn’t suffering. The devoted fan base, newer state-of-the-art stadium, and its share of the NFL’s huge TV contracts put Indianapolis on the list.
Next: This team’s value could be even higher in the future.
19. Oakland Raiders
Value: $2.38 billion
For now, they’re the Oakland Raiders, and they’re worth nearly $2.4 billion. When the team moves to Las Vegas and plays in a brand new stadium with its additional revenue streams, you can bet the team’s value will surge higher.
Next: The new stadium helps a lot.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Value: $2.4 billion
Minneapolis used more than $850 million in taxpayer money to build new baseball and football stadiums. John Q. Public might not be happy about it, but Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf is probably ecstatic. The new digs help his team be one of the most valuable NFL teams in 2018.
Next: One aspect of game day helps this team’s value.
17. Seattle Seahawks
Value: $2.42 billion
In the big scheme of things, charging more for tickets doesn’t greatly impact an NFL team’s bottom line. After all, a few million extra dollars isn’t that much when you’re dealing with billion-dollar TV contracts. Still, the Seahawks have one of the highest ticket prices in the NFL, an aspect of game day that helps the value a little bit.
Next: You shouldn’t be surprised seeing this franchise make the list.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
Value: $2.45 billion
The team’s rich history. Its legacy of great players. A devoted fanbase. Multiple Super Bowl titles. The Steelers have a lot of positives on their ledger, so you shouldn’t be surprised that they’re one of the most valuable NFL teams.
Next: Now you know this team for two things.
15. Atlanta Falcons
Value: $2.47 billion
If you only know the Atlanta Falcons for suffering one of the biggest chokes in Super Bowl history, well, now you know them for two things. The implosion in Super Bowl 51 didn’t impact the bottom line, as Atlanta is one of the most valuable teams in the league.
Next: Don’t pay any attention to one terrible contract on this team’s books.
14. Baltimore Ravens
Value: $2.5 billion
Don’t pay any attention to the fact the Ravens handed one of the worst contracts ever to quarterback Joe Flacco. The team is swimming in money, and it’s one of the most valuable NFL teams in 2018.
Next: This franchise enjoys sustained success.
13. Green Bay Packers
Value: $2.55 billion
The team with two of the wealthiest quarterbacks ever is also one of the most valuable teams in the NFL. The Packers’ dedicated fanbase and sustained success make up for playing in a small market at the aging (but updated) Lambeau Field.
Next: Things off the field are going fine.
12. Miami Dolphins
Value: $2.57 billion
The Dolphins have floundered on the field recently, including signing Jay Cutler to flail around during the 2017 season. Off the field, however, owner Stephen Ross presides over one of the most valuable teams in the NFL in 2018 at more than $2.57 billion.
Next: A bad QB situation but a great financial situation.
11. Denver Broncos
Value: $2.6 billion
A dreadful QB situation in the wake of Peyton Manning’s retirement hurts the play on the field, but the Broncos are worth a ton of money. The team that plays at Mile High Stadium has a mile high value of $2.6 billion.
Next: Cracking the top 10.
10. Philadelphia Eagles
Value: $2.65 billion
Let’s be clear about this: The Eagles were already one of the most valuable NFL teams before their 2018 Super Bowl win. They were worth $1.75 billion in 2014, but now the franchise is nearly $1 billion past that mark.
Next: A team barely in the top 10 despite playing in a huge city.
9. New York Jets
Value: $2.75 billion
Playing in one of the world’s biggest cities barely gets the Jets into our top 10 of the most valuable NFL teams in 2018, but it’s not as bad as it looks. The franchise is one of the most valuable teams in the world despite the fact the 2017 season was a trainwreck.
Next: Let’s check in on a relative newcomer.
8. Houston Texans
Value: $2.8 billion
The newest NFL team is also one of the most valuable franchises in the league. Fan favorite players J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson give football-crazy fans in Texas’ largest city more reason to show up in person for home games eight times a year.
Next: Fans are disinterested, but the team is still worth a fortune.
7. Chicago Bears
Value: $2.85 billion
Chicago Bears fans are more and more disinterested in watching the team live, which is a reason bankruptcy is a possibility in the future. But the team’s value isn’t suffering at all. At $2.85 billion, the Bears are one of the most valuable teams in the world.
Next: Owning a valuable NFL team is just part of this man’s fortune.
6. Los Angeles Rams
Value: $3 billion
Stan Kroenke is a real estate magnate who is one of America’s biggest landowners, so the Rams represent just a fraction of his fortune. Still, owning one of the most valuable NFL franchises in 2018 is a nice feather in his cap.
Next: A team worth more than $3 billion despite an awful stadium.
5. San Francisco 49ers
Value: $3.05 billion
Home stadiums are a key part of an NFL team’s value. Even though the 49ers home field, Levi’s Stadium, is one of the worst in history, it has all the modern amenities that help the team make tons of money. One side of the field is all expensive luxury suites, and that helps San Francisco be one of the most valuable football teams in America.
Next: We’re well north of $3 billion from here on out.
4. Washington Redskins
Value: $3.1 billion
Like the home stadium of our previous stop in San Francisco, Washington also has a terrible stadium. Plus, almost any nickname would be better than Redskins, in our opinion. Despite the shortcomings, Washington is one of the most valuable NFL teams in 2018 and one of the most valuable in the world.
Next: This team’s value is up 25%.
3. New York Giants
Value: $3.3 billion
The Giants were one of the most valuable teams in 2015 at $2.8 billion. Well, in four short years the value is up by 25% to $3.3 billion even though the team has just one winning season since 2012.
Next: Just grin and bear it.
2. New England Patriots
Value: $3.7 billion
Let’s face it — aside from New Englanders and bandwagon fans, everyone hates the Patriots. They seem to win all the time, and star quarterback Tom Brady is one of the sports personalities people loathe. The team’s and Brady’s success makes them both incredibly rich. The QB is one of the richest NFL players ever, and the team is one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world.
Next: The clear-cut No. 1.
1. Dallas Cowboys
Value: $4.8 billion
Even though Dallas owner Jerry Jones is one of America’s most hated owners, we’re guessing it doesn’t bother him one bit. After all, he owns America’s team, which is the clear-cut most valuable NFL team in 2018. Not only that, but the Cowboys are the most valuable team in any sport in the world.