The value of NFL franchises has been increasing in recent years, due to significant growth in profits. And as the value of a team rises, the return on the investment — the profit — must remain strong in order to justify the increased value of the team.
If, for example, a billion-dollar business merely breaks even on a consistent basis, it won’t remain a billion-dollar business for very long.
And that’s possibly what has happened to the Rams. In September 2009, Forbes pegged the franchise at a total value of $913 million, down from $915 million the year before. According to Howard Balzer of Globe-Democrat.com, however, the total value of the team was pegged at between $725 million and $750 million in connection with the sale of the 60-percent interest held by Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez to Shahid Khan.
So the next time NFLPA Executive Director De Smith laughs off (as he did last Thursday) a drop in operating profit for a team like the Packers from $34 million to $20 million, keep in mind that sagging financial performance makes the franchise less valuable than it was — and it makes folks with the wherewithal to own a team less inclined to get in, and it could make those who already hold the keys to a club more inclined to consider getting out.