The NBA, MLB and NHL are all major draws for sports fans in North America but none of those leagues measure up to the NFL in terms of viewing figures, stadium attendances or revenues.
Pro Football is the be all and end all of American sports and unsurprisingly, it is absolutely awash with money. In 2015, under mounting pressure, the NFL gave up its tax-exempt status and became a trade association made up of and financed by its 32 member teams.
Because of the private status that that move granted the league, it’s impossible to put an exact figure on the annual revenues of the NFL – suffice to say, it’s a lot. Figures that we are able to speculate are the individual revenues of the league’s 32 teams.
To find out the top 5 richest franchises in the NFL, read on…
5. San Francisco 49ers: $5.18 billion
They might not feature too highly in the 2022 NFL odds for the Super Bowl, but the San Francisco 49ers do feature quite highly in the league rich list.
With an honours list that includes five Super Bowl Championships, seven Conference Championships and twenty Division Championships, the 49ers have a history they can be rightly proud of.
The pulling power of the franchise’s history combined with their enormous wealth means that fans of the outfit can be fairly confident of a return to winning ways in the coming years.
San Francisco is currently owned by Denise DeBartolo York who made her money through The DeBartolo Corporation which she became Co-Chairman of following her Father’s death in 1994.
The Ohio born businesswoman has a history of being involved in sports having presided over the Pittsburgh Penguins who won the 1991 Stanley Cup under her stewardship. Four years ago DeBartolo York expanded her sporting interest when she became a minority investor in English Football club Leeds United.
(Step back in time to when the San Francisco 49ers won their last Super Bowl.)
4. New York Giants: $5.73 billion
In 1925, along with four other teams, the New York Giants joined the NFL and are now the only team of that group still in operation. The 97 years since their incorporation in the NFL have been, in the main, memorable for fans of the G-Men.
Unfortunately for New York Giants fans it has been over ten years since they last lifted the Lombardi Trophy, which is somewhat of an underachievement for the league’s fourth richest team.
The franchise is owned by John Mara and Steve Tisch, the former following in the footsteps of Wellington Mara in owning the Giants and the latter making his money through film and media.
Despite what looks like a good job from the outside, both have come under criticism from fans for their handling of team affairs in recent years showing that money isn’t perhaps everything.
3. New England Patriots: $5.88 billion
The first franchise in the Top Three is the New England Patriots, one of the best franchises in modern history. Winning their first Super Bowl in 2001, the Massachusetts based franchise have gone on to add a further five Lombardi Trophies to their tally in the intervening years.
Much of that is down to a combination of the miracles pulled off by General Manager Bill Belichick and the miracles pulled off on the field by the legendary Tom Brady.
Off the field The Patriots matters are dealt with by American billionaire Robert Kraft who made his billions through his successful packaging company.
(Super Bowl success is still fresh in the minds of Patriots fans.)
2. Los Angeles Rams: $5.91 billion
Originally founded in 1936 as the Cleveland Rams, this franchise have had many names and different homes throughout its history. Presently the Los Angeles Rams play their home games at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
They are also the current holders of the Super Bowl after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in last season’s showpiece final. If the NFL odds are to be believed, a repeat of that looks unlikely for the Rams.
Owner Stan Kroenke, who made his money through real estate and elite sports will be hoping his side can beat the odds this season. If it’s a season of struggles he may well cast his eye over the Atlantic to another of his sporting outfits, Arsenal.
- Dallas Cowboys: $7.64 billion
It will come as no surprise to anyone to find out that the Dallas Cowboys are still the richest team in the NFL. Established in 1960, the Cowboys have become the masters of PR and brand management, even becoming known as ‘America’s Team’ in 1979.
Sports fans from around the world flock online in their numbers every day to get their hands on Cowboys branded memorabilia and merchandise, but do all of those dollar bills actually help the team to success on the field?
Not recently they don’t. The franchise last won the Super Bowl in 1995 and have only five Lombardi Trophies to their name, thanks in large part to a purple patch of form in the early 1990s.
For fans of the Dallas Cowboys it certainly seems like money can’t buy happiness.