The NFL American football league is expected to generate approximately $14bn (€11.9bn/£10.4bn) in revenue this year, according to a new report by Forbes.
With the value of the league continuing to grow year-on-year, the report has also said that the average NFL franchise is now worth a staggering $2.5bn, which in turn makes team owners a very wealthy group of individuals.
A total of 32 franchises compete in the NFL and have owner from a wide range of backgrounds, with their personal worth varying.
Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen, who is perhaps best known for co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates, is currently ranked as the most wealthy owner in the NFL, with a value of between $20.7bn and $22.7bn. Allen purchased the team for just $197m in 1997, with the Forbes report now valuing the team at $2.4bn.
Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins, has gradually increased his stake in the team over the years and his Related Companies private real estate business owns a huge array of assets, including the Time Warner Center.
Stan Kroenke, another owner who has made his money in real estate, helped to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, California, by overseeing a relocation of his Rams from St. Louis.
Jerry Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for around $140m, and has transformed the team into the most valuable franchise in the NFL, now worth around $4.8bn. One of the main success stories of Jones’ ownership is opening the 100,000-capacity AT&T Stadium (pictured) in Arlington, Texas – a venue that generates around $440m each year.
This year, the Atlanta Falcons moved into the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium with Major League Soccer (MLS) neighbour Atlanta United. The NFL franchise is valued at an estimated $2.5bn and owned by Arthur Blank, the co-founder of The Home Depot huge network of DIY retail stores.
Alex Spanos, owner of the Los Angeles Chargers, is a self-made billionaire who was able to turn an $800 loan into a hugely successful real estate investment business. The Chargers recently relocated to LA after failing to secure a new stadium in its previous home of San Diego.
John Mara and Steve Tisch’s New York Giants franchise is valued at $3.3bn, the third highest in the NFL, and shares its MetLife Stadium home with the New York Jets, a teamed owned by Woody Johnson.
The Oakland Raiders will soon be on the move to Las Vegas, Nevada, where the team will play in a brand new stadium. Owned by the Davis family, the Raiders will be moving for their third time in its history.
The Hunt family has owned the Kansas City Chiefs since the team’s inception in 1963, with Clark Hunt currently at the wheel. Similarly, Art Rooney II has been owned of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2003, with his grandfather having paid just $2,500 to found the franchise back in 1933.
Right at the other end of the scale, the Green Bay Packers have around 361,060 individual owners, all of whom own share in the league’s only publicly-owned, non-profit franchise. However, despite this unusual ownership model, the team is still valued at a huge $2.55bn.