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Robert Trigaux

Forbes: Value of Tampa Bay Bucs franchise dips again, now No. 19 among NFL teams




Above: Mike Williams (19) and Josh Freeman, celebrating a TD vs. the Chiefs last month, are keys to the Bucs’ offensive fortunes. But what about the franchise's fortunes? (Photo: Daniel Wallace, St. Petersburg Times.)

Wake up and good morning. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look more promising on the field this season, their franchise does not. In Forbes magazine's annual look at National Football League franchise values, the Bucs -- which Forbes once called one of the "elite franchises" of the NFL -- now ranks No. 19 among all 32 NFL teams.

Its franchise value fell to $981 million. That's lower than the $1.04 billion average for the league.

Ouch. The Bucs, owned and managed by the Glazer family since buying the franchise in 1995 for $192 million, seem to be on a financial skid. The intrigue with the Glazers, of course, is that they also own England's Manchester United soccer franchise, a far more global and far more valuable franchise than the Bucs. So much so that the Glazers recently took a portion of the ManU franchise public in a stock offering on the Singapore market.

That has not been well received by ManU fans. Says Reuters: "The sagging popularity of Manchester United's American owners has touched a new low with the $1 billion flotation plan in Singapore that would consolidate the Glazer family's control over the English Premier League giants." Read more here. The concern? That the Glazers are tapping ManU's value and shipping some of those proceeds to the Bucs franchise or, perhaps, to reduce the family business concern's large debts.

Back to the NFL. Led by maverick team owner Jerry Jones, the most valuable team for the fifth straight year is the Dallas Cowboys, worth $1.85 billion, up 2 percent from last year and valued at twice that of the Bucs franchise. Least in value, Forbes reports, are the Jacksonville Jaguars ($725 million).

Read the Forbes story here.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times

[Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 8:09am]


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