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NFL team values spike 12% following historic Denver Broncos sale

Matt Johnson
NFL team values
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The record-breaking Denver Broncos sale pulled in $4.65 billion for the Pat Bowlen Trust, becoming the most money ever paid for a North American sports team. While the Bowlen family will cash in right now, the sale is also huge for NFL team values.

Forbes releases its estimates of NFL team values every year, basing it on a variety of factors including league revenue and the future growth of the sports. Before the 2021 season, Forbes announced the Dallas Cowboys ($6.5 billion) with the New England Patriots ($5 billioN) and New York Giants ($4.85 billion) just behind.

The Broncos were estimated at a $3.75 billion valuation, nearly $1 billion less than what the group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton paid for the franchise. With more sources of revenue available for the league and the costs for TV rights packages soaring, Walton had no issue setting an NFL record to buy the Broncos this spring.

It’s going to have a massive ripple effect on the rest of the league. Forbes estimates that NFL team values will increase 12% this year thanks to the Broncos’ sale price.

Why NFL team values are rising

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-SoFi Stadium Views
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The projection doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Just take a look at the recent broadcasting rights deals the NFL signed with its partners. Amazon pays $1 billion per season for Thursday Night Football. Meanwhile, Fox, CBS, Disney and NBC will pay the NFL more than $100 billion over the next decade,

Partnerships with sportsbooks will be worth billions of dollars in the coming years. Meanwhile, the NFL International Series is expanding and the league is on the verge of selling NFL Sunday Ticket for a staggering cost.

There’s a reason Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones projected his team would be worth more than double the Broncos. He, like every other billionaire and business person, recognizes the NFL is essentially a money-making machine right now and there are only signs of league revenue skyrocketing in the years ahead.

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The Seattle Seahawks will likely be the NFL team up for sale. When the bidding starts, groups need to start at $5 billion and see where things take them after that. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a franchise sold for $6.5 billion within the next 10 years, the valuation for the Cowboys in 2021.

Owners will be cashing in the most, but players and the NFL commissioner will also come out of this wealthier. Salaries for the highest paid NFL players are soaring and Roger Goodell’s ongoing contract negotiations should push him near a $70 million per year salary.