NFL Team Values - It's All About the Stadium

Football is big business. In 2010, the 32 teams in the NFL generated over $8 billion dollars in revenue and were valued at a collective $33 billion. Individually their valuations vary almost as wildly as their performance. Check out this viz to see why...

There are few strong themes between the teams. The valuations vary, and not in the way you might expect. Jacksonville has relatively decent operating income ($26 million), but it is valued the lowest in the league. The Giants and Jets are both in the top five, without either of them managing to post over $10m in operating income.

So what gives? Among the most important metrics (fan base, financial position, winning record, etc), it seems that the age of the stadium is one of the most important. At first glance this seems moderately superficial, but the economics do make sense. Most teams with new stadiums work out incredibly favorable terms with the stadium owners (usually the city), guaranteeing operating rights in the off-season, naming rights revenue and sometimes even getting the owner to take care of operating costs. Plus, it is way easier to sell season tickets in the new Cowboys Stadium than the Oakland Coliseum.

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