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