While the National Football League lost $4 billion last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of NFL owners likely came out of 2020 feeling good about their financial situation.
NFL owners have even more reason to celebrate as of late. The league just signed new TV rights contracts, deals that are worth more than $100 billion in revenue over the next decade. Meanwhile, the NFL is eyeing $100 million annually in negotiations for its data rights.
All of that occurred before the 2021 season and early indications are NFL revenue could reach records levels after the final whistle blows. NFL TV ratings are skyrocketing this year, blowing past marks from the 2020 season and even several years prior.
Related: 2021 NFL TV ratings
Pair rocketing television ratings with a new partnership with Verizon, ESPN+ negotiating for the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket and an estimated $270 million in revenue generated from betting contracts, it’s no wonder franchise owners are making more than ever.
The latest Forbes’ list of the world’s richest team stakeholders highlights NFL owners who had a great year.
Who is the richest NFL owner?
The moment the NFL welcomed David Tepper as the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, Jerry Jones officially lost his seat on the throne. While he remains the most influential team stakeholder in the league, the title of NFL’s richest owner flipped to Tepper.
Carolina’s owner easily led his NFL peers before the pandemic. He had an estimated net worth of $13 billion, far more than the second-richest owner (Jerry Jones, $8.6 billion). Even more impressively, Tepper’s net worth was greater than that of Robert Kraft ($6.6 billion) and Arthur Blank ($6.1 million) combined.
Tepper stands on even higher ground in 2021. Forbes estimates his net worth at $14.5 billion, a stunning 21% increase. He wasn’t shy about donating some of his money this past year, either. He donated more than $20 million to COVID-19 relief, crated $567,000 in scholarships at the University of South Carolina, provided school supplies for 15,000 children.
The 63-year-old should certainly feel great about his own financial situation and is likely even more excited about the direction the Panthers are headed after the Sam Darnold trade.
Richest owners in NFL
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys – $8.9 billion net worth, 11% increase from 2020.
It should come as no surprise to see Jones list among the richest NFL owners. Before the 2021 season, the Dallas Cowboys sat atop Forbes’ list of most valuable NFL franchises at an astonishing $6.5 billion. It’s part of the reason why Jones created Jerry’s World and The Star in Frisco. With the Cowboys contending for a Super Bowl, the franchise will likely be worth $7 billion in 2022.
San Kroenke, Los Angeles Dams – $8.2 billion, 18% decrease
The decision to relocate the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles is paying off for Stan Kroenke, but it’s going to come at a higher price tag than he initially expected. Years after the franchise abruptly left St. Louis, the city’s lawsuit against Kroenke and the NFL is moving quickly. Kroenke, who previously agreed to cover the legal costs and a private settlement, offered St. Louis $100 million to put the legal battle to rest. But the city is pushing for more and they’ll get it in an eventual settlement out of court.
Shahid Khan, Jacksonville Jaguars – $8 billion, 3% increase
While the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise value is estimated at $2.8 billion, 26th in the NFL, it’s only a fraction of the wealth Shad Khan has built up over the years. Khan picked Urban Meyer to lead the Jaguars, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in football. A new $120 million practice facility is in development and with quarterback Trevor Lawrence providing a new face for this franchise, Khan’s net worth and the team’s value will likely rise in the coming years.
Here are the other richest NFL owners in 2021.
- Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross: $7 billion, 8% decrease
- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft: $6.9 billion
- Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank: $6.2 billion
- Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula: $7.4 billion
- Baltimore Ravens owner Stephen Bisciotti: $4.9 billion
- Houston Texans owner Janice McNair: $4.1 billion