How great would it be to own an NFL franchise? What football fan has not dreamed about that very possibility at some point in life? Of course, for most of us that is all it ever will be, considering it takes a small fortune to buy into the league now. With the average value of an NFL team close to $2 billion, you'll have to be filthy stinking rich to even consider trying to buy one.
However, that was not always the case. Over the history of the league team owners have paid as little as $100 (George Halas for the Chicago Bears in 1920), and as much as $1.1 billion (Stephen Ross for the Miami Dolphins in 2008).
So the investment made by George Halas, who left the team to his daughter, Virginia Halas McCaskey (pictured above), has increased in value by more than 24,000,000%. Not bad, right? Stephen Ross can only hope that his investment will have the same luck someday, but he is probably not complaining that the Dolphins have increased in value by 68 percent in the short time that he has owned the team.
Here is a list of the 32 owners, when they bought the team, for how much, and what it is now worth:
|Team||Owner||Sale Year||Sales Price||Current Value|
|Green Bay Packers||Green Bay Packers, Inc.||1919||$50.00||$1,950,000,000.00|
|Chicago Bears||McCaskey Family||1920||$100.00||$2,450,000,000.00|
|New York Giants||John Mara/Steve Tisch||1929||$500.00||$2,800,000,000.00|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Rooney Family||1933||$2,500.00||$1,900,000,000.00|
|Buffalo Bills||Ralph Wilson Trust||1959||$25,000.00||$1,400,000,000.00|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Lamar Hunt Family||1960||$25,000.00||$1,530,000,000.00|
|Oakland Raiders||Mark Davis||1966||$25,000.00||$1,430,000,000.00|
|Tennessee Titans||Kenneth Adams Jr||1959||$25,000.00||$1,490,000,000.00|
|Arizona Cardinals||William Bidwill||1932||$50,000.00||$1,540,000,000.00|
|Detroit Lions||William Clay Ford||1964||$4,000,000.00||$1,440,000,000.00|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Michael Brown||1967||$8,000,000.00||$1,450,000,000.00|
|San Francisco 49ers||Jed York||1977||$13,000,000.00||$2,700,000,000.00|
|Indianapolis Colts||James Irsay||1972||$15,000,000.00||$1,880,000,000.00|
|New Orleans Saints||Tom Benson||1985||$70,000,000.00||$1,520,000,000.00|
|San Diego Chargers||Spanos Family||1984||$70,000,000.00||$1,530,000,000.00|
|Denver Broncos||Patrick Bowlen||1984||$78,000,000.00||$1,940,000,000.00|
|Dallas Cowboys||Jerry Jones||1989||$150,000,000.00||$4,000,000,000.00|
|New England Patriots||Robert Kraft||1994||$172,000,000.00||$3,200,000,000.00|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Jeffrey Lurie||1994||$185,000,000.00||$2,400,000,000.00|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Glazer Family||1995||$192,000,000.00||$1,510,000,000.00|
|Seattle Seahawks||Paul Allen||1997||$194,000,000.00||$1,870,000,000.00|
|Carolina Panthers||Jerry Richardson||1993||$206,000,000.00||$1,560,000,000.00|
|Atlanta Falcons||Arthur Blank||2002||$545,000,000.00||$1,670,000,000.00|
|Baltimore Ravens||Stephen Bisciotti||2004||$600,000,000.00||$1,930,000,000.00|
|Minnesota Vikings||Zygmunt Wilf||2005||$600,000,000.00||$1,590,000,000.00|
|New York Jets||Robert Wood Johnson IV||2000||$635,000,000.00||$2,600,000,000.00|
|Houston Texans||Robert McNair||1999||$700,000,000.00||$2,500,000,000.00|
|St. Louis Rams||Stanley Kroenke||2010||$750,000,000.00||$1,450,000,000.00|
|Washington Redskins||Daniel Snyder||1999||$750,000,000.00||$2,850,000,000.00|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Shahid Khan||2012||$770,000,000.00||$1,480,000,000.00|
|Cleveland Browns||Jimmy Haslam||2012||$1,000,000,000.00||$1,500,000,000.00|
|Miami Dolphins||Stephen Ross||2008||$1,100,000,000.00||$1,850,000,000.00|
Teams in the NHL, MLB, and NBA do not always make a profit from year to year, but thanks to the profit sharing structure the league has and the hard salary cap owners are virtually guaranteed to make a profit year in and year out, barring serious mismanagement on their part.
Last season, before taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization are deducted, each team made at least $25.4 million (Atlanta Falcons) and as much as $270 million (Dallas Cowboys).