NFL Owners: 10 Owners That Should Sell Their Franchise
Owning a NFL Franchise
Owning a NFL team is always a dream of many sports fans around the world. Few lucky people ever get the opportunity to call themselves NFL owners. Some teams are inherited from family members and others are bought when team owners die and the families don’t want to hold onto the team. The majority of teams are bought when times are tough, as owners look to cash out. Just like other professional sports, teams change ownership on occasion.
The NFL continues to put up impressive numbers in advertising revenue, attendance, and licensing. Forbes Magazine ranks the value of every NFL team in an annual poll. Last year, the magazine listed the Dallas Cowboys as the most valuable franchise with a value of $2.1 billion. Jacksonville Jaguars was ranked last of the 32 teams with a valuation of $770 million. The Jaguars recently received a new team owner and can hopefully climb up the list when Forbes ranks the teams next year.
A rumored Los Angeles NFL team could have a big impact on team ownership. A proposed stadium to lure an NFL team could increase the number of teams in the league or force an underperforming team to move to California. Owners of teams in California may want to pay particular close attention as a Los Angeles team could hurt attendance and fan bases.
Teams or owners normally make it public when they have an intent to sell their team. This public notice is an attempt to get the most money out of their valuable asset. In other cases, billionaires who do not own a team announce their intentions to purchase one. Either way, billionaires who want to buy a NFL team normally end up with one, even if it’s not the one in their home state. Here is a look at ten owners who may want to consider selling their NFL team due to poor results, poor attendance, or age.
Current Owner: Bill Bidwill
Bought Team in: Part owner 1962-1972, sole owner since 1972
Forbes Valuation: $922 million (#25)
Bidwill has been the owner of the Cardinals in some form since 1962. His family traces their routes with the Cardinals back to 1932, when his father Charles owned the then Chicago Cardinals up until 1947. The Cardinals are consistent underperformers and have one recent Super Bowl appearance as their claim to fame. The 81 year old could sell the team, but would he risk his family losing control of the team?
Current Owner: Ralph Wilson
Bought Team in: 1960 team founded
Forbes Valuation: $805 million (#29)
The Bills were once a dominant team in the AFL, winning the Championship in 1964 and 1965. In the 1990’s, the team enjoyed success winning the AFC Championship four straight years from 1990 to 1993. As the oldest NFL owner, it may be time for Wilson to consider selling his underperforming team.
Current Owner: Mike Brown
Bought Team in: 1991 took over ownership from father
Forbes Valuation: $871 million (#26)
Brown is the son of the legendary Paul Brown. Paul founded the Cleveland Browns and later founded the Bengals in 1968. Son Mike took over in 1991. Since 1991, the Bengals have had a losing record and not been very successful in the NFL. The time for a new owner could be soon, as it appears Brown can not fill his father’s shoes.
Current Owner: Stephen Ross
Bought Team in: 50% in 2008, Increased to 95%
Forbes Valuation: $1.06 billion (#15)
The Miami Dolphins rank last in home attendance capacity in the 2012 season. The team has averaged 55,776 fans in its three home games. The team ranks last in the league with 74.2% of seats filled in the stadium. Ross increased his stake in the team, but has also allowed several celebrities like Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Venus Williams and Serena Williams to purchase minority stakes in the team. Perhaps Ross will sell off other chunks to other individuals.
Current Owner: Zygi Wilf
Bought Team in: 2005 with five partners
Forbes Valuation: $975 million (#22)
Loaded with money from his real estate company Garden Commercial Properties, Wilf bought control of the Vikings. With a new stadium coming, the Vikings are locked into the state of Minnesota. The time to sell could be now as the value has increased in seven years and a new stadium could lure in a new owner.
Current Owner: Mark Davis
Bought Team in: Inherited in 2011, owns 47% with mother Carol
Forbes Valuation: $785 million (#30)
Davis inherited ownership of the Raiders after his father passed away in 2011. Al Davis was the owner of the team from 1972-2011. Under Al, the team won three Super Bowls (1976, 1980, 1983). Davis runs the day to day operations of the Raiders. It may be time for Davis to sell to someone else so the team can follow his father’s advice and “Just win, baby”.
San Diego Chargers
Current Owner: Alexander Spanos
Bought Team in: 1984 bought 60%, now owns 97%
Forbes Valuation: $936 million (#24)
The Chargers have stumbled in the last three years after the retirement of running back LaDainian Tomlinson. With a valuation close to $1 billion, Spanos could look to sell the team now. A team in Los Angeles could possibly hurt San Diego’s fan base.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current Owner: Malcolm Glazer
Bought Team in: 1995 for $192 million
Forbes Valuation: $1.03 billion (#18)
Glazer has tougher priorities with his ownership of English soccer team Manchester United. Glazer took the soccer team public this year in the United States. The soccer team has been loaded with debt and the main focus of Glazer. The Buccaneers owner consistently undercuts NFL salary for his team to focus on soccer. Glazer purchased the team for a then record $192 million in 1995, when former owner Hugh Culverhouse died. It may be time for the 84 year old Glazer to take profits on the team that ranks last in 2012 NFL attendance (53,782).
Current Owner: Bud Adams
Bought Team in: 1959, traces back to Houston Oilers
Forbes Valuation: $1.01 billion (#19)
Adams has owned the team for over 50 years. The outspoken owner made the news recently for putting his team on notice after the team’s loss to the Chicago Bears Sunday. Adams said, “I just can’t be flying up there to see that happen,” referring to the team’s loss and his flight from Houston. Adams has the team in a trust for his kids or family. Perhaps the team’s recent woes, and Adams fight with the team, could prove the stepping stone to a sale of the team.
Current Owner: Daniel Snyder
Bought Team in: 1999 for $800 million
Forbes Valuation: $1.6 billion (#3)
Snyder bought the Redskins, along with the Jack Kent Cooke Stadium for $800 million. The newly named FedEx Field has been one of the reasons the team’s value has increased so much over the years in Snyder’s control. FedEx pays millions of dollars for the naming rights for the Redskins stadium. Snyder has been hated by fans for several years. In 2008, Snyder sued fans who could not pay their full season ticket amounts during the Recession. The following year, Snyder banned all signs from Redskins home games, after fans used signs to display their anger towards the Redskins owner.