NFL Houston Texans

5 Reasons Why Houston Texans are 5th in Forbes’ Most Valuable Teams

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5 Reasons Why Houston Texans are Fifth in Forbes' Most Valuable Teams

Bob & Janice McNair
Thomas Campbell-USA Today Sports

The Houston Texans are now the fifth-most valuable team in the NFL, according to Forbes, Inc. This is the second year in a row that the Texans have snagged the fifth spot, rising from sixth in 2011. They've made it into the top five most valuable teams six out of the past nine years, and have never been lower than sixth. (I'd go back further, but sadly Forbes' website archive doesn't go back that far.)

The Texans kept their hold on the fifth spot by finishing the 2012 NFL season atop the AFC South and winning a playoff game. Team revenues (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) climbed an estimated $16 million from $304 million to $320 million over just one year. The team brought in more money in 2012 than ever before through the rise in general ticket sales, larger sponsorships and premium seating.

Ticket sales jumped last year, even though the team upped the average general admission price 8.5% ($78.66 in 2012, $72.47 in 2011). The attendance at Texans' home games has increased every year since 2008, and Houston now ranks eighth in the league in attendance (573,321 total or 71,665 per game). With another promising team lined up for 2013, the Texans hiked ticket prices another 9.8% (now $86.39 per ticket) for 2013.

The Texans aren't the only team in the NFL enjoying an appreciation in value. According to the report by Forbes, the NFL's 32 teams are now worth an average of $1.17 billion, up 5% from 2012. Though the Texans were inarguably better on the field, the Dallas Cowboys are still the bigger money-makers in the Lone Star State, sitting atop the Forbes' list for the seventh consecutive year in a row. The Cowboys are now worth an estimated $2.3 billion. The New England Patriots ($1.8 billion), Washington Redskins ($1.7 billion), and New York Giants ($1.55 billion) round out the top five, with the Texans at No. 5, worth approximately $1.45 billion.

Here are a few reasons why the Texans have stayed one of the most valuable teams in the NFL over the past decade:

Cooper Welch is a Houston Texans writer for Follow him on Twitter @cooperwelch1991, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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5. They Have Terrific Players

Andre Johnson
Jesse Johnson-USA Today Sports

The Texans have had one of the best teams in the NFL the past two years, winning more playoff games in these last two seasons than the Cowboys have in an entire decade.

They had the seventh-best overall defense and the seventh-best overall offense last season, despite injuries to Brian Cushing (ACL), Andre Johnson (groin), Ben Tate (head, toe, hamstring, foot), Quentin Demps (thumb, forearm), Arian Foster (hamstring and knee) and J.J. Watt (elbow). Johnson managed to put together a 1,500+ yard season, Foster ran for 1,424 yards and Watt led the league with 20.5 sacks. Matt Schaub (ear) also was hurt, but threw for over 4,000 yards; and Owen Daniels (thigh, hamstring, back, knee, chest, shoulder) caught 62 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns.

Other Texans' players managed to stay healthy the entire season and rack up some good numbers, including Antonio Smith (seven sacks), Connor Barwin (44 tackles, three sacks) and Glover Quin (84 tackles, 14 pass deflections, two interceptions).

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4. They Have Players that Care about the Community

J.J. Watt
Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

The athletes that the Texans have assembled together are all really good guys. Schaub has won the Ed Block Courage Award (honors NFL players who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Recipients are selected solely by a vote of their teammates), and founded The Gr8 Hope Association with his wife.

Watt formed the Justin J. Watt Foundation to help provide support to after-school athletic programs in Wisconsin and Texas. He's done so much charity work that people have begun to wonder about his motives.

Johnson formed his non-profit foundation in 2003, the Andre Johnson Foundation. He famously host an annual holiday shopping spree at Toys "R" Us every year, giving 12 children selected by Child Protective Services 80 seconds to fill their bins with as many items as possible, compliments of the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation. In 2012 the kids racked up $19,521 in toys and gifts for themselves and their families.

Foster has paired up with Kroger to benefit programs for local families, schools, and communities and with Subway to help raise funds for the West Alabama food bank.

Like every NFL team, the Texans also have their own charity.

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3. Gary Kubiak is a Really Good Coach

Gary Kubiak
Jesse Johnson-USA Today Sports

In case you don't know, Gary Kubiak played his entire career for the Denver Broncos, who drafted him in 1983. He was the backup to John Elway, and in nine seasons, Kubiak went 3-2 as a starter, throwing for 14 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and 1,920 yards while part of three AFC championship teams.

After finishing his NFL career, he went on to coach running backs at Texas A&M in 1993 and 1994, win a Super Bowl ring as quarterbacks coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1994, served as the offensive coordinator of the Broncos from 1995-2005 (winning two more Super Bowls), and then became just the second head coach ever of your Houston Texans in 2006, replacing the fired Dom Capers. The Texas went 6-10 in his first season, and since that season, the Texans have had only season with a losing record (6-10 in 2010). They've won the AFC South the past two years, and have also won a playoff game two years in a row (defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round both times.)

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2. Reliant Stadium is One of the Best NFL Stadiums

Reliant Stadium
Bukowsky18-Flickr Creative Commons

From Reliant Stadium's website: "Reliant Stadium is the only rodeo and NFL indoor/outdoor retractable roof, natural grass stadium that can be configured to utilize a 125,000 square foot space for general sessions, catered functions, exhibits, concerts, and much more. In addition, Reliant Stadium offers four massive concourse levels for special events. The design of the stadium roof provides a very flexible rigging configuration for major *audio and visual* presentations. 205 suites complement Reliant Stadium."

Not only this, but as I reported earlier this week, the stadium is now installing the longest video boards in any NFL stadium (though that title could go to the Jacksonville Jaguars soon).

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1. Bob McNair is the Perfect Owner for the Houston Texans

Bob McNair
Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

Bob McNair seems to have studied under the tutelage of New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft or San Antonio Spurs' owner Peter Holt. His teams are almost always full of high-character guys that (mostly) stay out of the limelight, and he usually lets his general manager Rick Smith run the team the way he wants.

McNair is perhaps most famous for founding Cogen Technologies, which he sold in 1999. He serves as the chairman of The McNair Group, and owns Palmetto Partners, Ltd. and RCM Financial Services, L.P.

McNair is the original owner of the Texans, being granted the right to make the franchise in 1999 by the NFL. The city of Houston had their first Texans' game in 2002, and McNair's efforts also brought Super Bowl XXXVIII to Reliant Stadium in 2004 (there are rumors that another Super Bowl could come here soon).

McNair and his investors originally paid $700 million for the franchise, and it is now worth $1.45 billion.