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Robert Trigaux

Tampa Bay Bucs soar by four NFL franchises in value in year when 25% of teams lost worth



Glazerstimesfile Wake up and good morning. Despite the recession and the loss of its waiting list of fans seeking season tickets, the value of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise still increased in 2009, according to Forbes magazine's annual rankings.

The Bucs franchise ranked No. 8 out of 32 NFL teams, which means that since last year's ranking, the team's value soared by the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos.Owner by the Glazer family, the Bucs are now valued at $1.085 billion, up a bit from $1.053 billion in 2008.

Pictured above, in healthier days (but uglier team colors): Malcolm Glazer, center, poses with sons Joel, left, and Bryan after announcing his purchase of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 16, 1995. (St. Petersburg Times files.)

Forbes found a quarter of the league's franchises worth less than they were last year. "This marked the first time in 10 years that any NFL team had gone down in value," says Forbes. Here's the complete story.

Not a bad showing, especially when you compare the Bucs value to its geographic neighbors. The Miami Dolphins rank No. 18 with a $1.015 billion value, while the Jacksonville Jaguars come in at No. 29 at $866 million and the Atlanta Falconsare right behind at No. 30 and $856 million. Still, it's an uphill climb for the Bucs this season, as this Forbes summary suggests:

"The Buccaneers once boasted of having a season ticket waiting list of over 100,000 names. Those days are over. This year season tickets were available to anyone for the first time in almost a decade. Blame the recession and high prices in a small market. The average ticket price including club seats last season was $120, only the Patriots and Redskins charged more. To drum up business the team held a select-a-seat ticket drive in May where fans could tour the stadium and try out different seats that were available.

"Another carrot for potential buyers is a payment plan that stretches over five months. Team owner Malcolm Glazer among thriftiest in the league with a player payroll that has ranked in the bottom half of the league each of the past five seasons."

Keep in mind that the Bucs are really the poor stepsister in the Glazer portfolio of sports assets. The Glazer family also controls English soccer team Manchester United, the world's most valuable sports franchise. Manchester even tops the NFL's No.1 team, the Dallas Cowboys, valued by Forbes at $1.65 billion. Bloomberg News offers more  insights.

Here are the latest Forbes rankings of NFL franchise values. Want more? Here's a more comprehensive ranking. Below: List by rank, team name and current value: 

1  Dallas Cowboys $1.65 billion 
2  Washington Redskins $1.55 billion 
3  New England Patriots $1,361 billion
4  New York Giants $1.183 billion 
5  New York Jets $1.170 billion  
6  Houston Texans $1.150 billion 
7  Philadelphia Eagles $1.123 billion 
8  Tampa Bay Buccaneers $1.085 billion 
9  Chicago Bears $1.082 billion 
10  Denver Broncos $1.081 billion 
11  Baltimore Ravens $1.079 billion 
12  Carolina Panthers $1.049 billion 
13  Cleveland Browns $1.032 billion  
14  Kansas City Chiefs $1.027 billion  
15  Indianapolis Colts $1.025 billion  
16  Pittsburgh Steelers $1.020 billion 
17  Green Bay Packers $1.019 billion   
18  Miami Dolphins $1.015 billion 
19  Tennessee Titans $1.000 billion 
20  Seattle Seahawks $994 million 
21  Cincinnati Bengals $953 million 
22  New Orleans Saints $942 million 
23  Arizona Cardinals $935 million 
24  San Diego Chargers $917 million 
25  St Louis Rams $913 million
26  Buffalo Bills $909 million  
27  San Francisco 49ers $875 million  
28  Detroit Lions $872 million 
29  Jacksonville Jaguars $866 million
30  Atlanta Falcons $856 million  
31  Minnesota Vikings $835 million  
32  Oakland Raiders $797 million

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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