At $13.5 billion, Paul Allen is NFL’s richest owner


Forbes is out with its annual list of the richest people in the world, and Seahawks owner Paul Allen checks in at No. 37, making him the NFL’s richest owner, with a net worth of $13.5 billion.

Allen, who founded Microsoft with his pal Bill Gates in 1975, is more than $10 billion richer than the second-richest owner, Stephen Ross of the Dolphins, who checks in at $3.4 billion.

Some NFL players have objected to the league’s current labor relationships being described as “millionaires vs. billionaires,” as plenty of NFL players aren’t millionaires. But it’s also worth noting that a lot of NFL owners aren’t billionaires; according to Sports Illustrated the poorest NFL owner is Pittsburgh’s Dan Rooney, who owns only a portion of the Steelers and has a net worth of $150 million.

Which still makes him richer than every NFL player.

65 responses to “At $13.5 billion, Paul Allen is NFL’s richest owner

  1. So let me see I’ve got this straight: The Geeks end up richer than the Jocks.


  2. “a net worth of $150 million. Which still makes him richer than every NFL player.”

    That seems very unlikely. Exactly how much did you calculate Brady and Manning’s net worth at?

  3. Isn’t Manning’s net worth around $115 million? Not THAT far off from Rooney.

  4. Rooney richer than every player? Are you sure about that? Peyton Manning’s last contract was for 92 million. That’s just for football. He’s been around for 12 seasons now and I’m not sure how much he’s been paid but that still leaves plenty of endorsements. While some of that has been spent, the only portion he’ll have lost from his net worth is on non-durable goods which would be a pretty small share of his income. You might be right but it has got to be close. Also, he can sell his signature for quite a pretty penny.

  5. i wouldn’t be surprised if peyton manning was nearing the net worth of rooney. he does so many commercials and is paid very well by the colts(deservedly so)

  6. Poor Rooney family. Some one send them a Pitty parade.

    They only own a part of the team. If you are going to account for the wealth of “team ownership”, consider all the individual investors and investment groups involved. The team ownership is more more than 1 majority owner.

  7. Probably except for Peyton Manning, the face of the NFLPA once litigation starts…. 🙂

  8. I think you need to specify that Dan Rooney is the NFL’s poorest owner of a non-publicly traded team.

    Since I’m pretty sure that I’m the poorest NFL owner.

  9. Incorrect.

    The poorest NFL owner is ME, along with my fellow 100,000 or so Packer shareholders.

  10. Pittsburgh’s Dan Rooney, who owns only a portion of the Steelers and has a net worth of $150 million.

    Which still makes him richer than every NFL player.

    Um, not Peyton Manning.

  11. If Carson Palmer has $80 million in the bank, I’m sure Peyton, Tom, or Drew has made enough smart investments to close in on that $150 million mark. Or how about Peppers or Hanesworth, they have made plenty too. Thats not too high of a mark to shoot for.

  12. That is a big piece of cake!!!

    Yesterday I dug $7.25 in change from under the seats of my car to buy a f in hoagie. So it is safe to say, as an NFL season ticket holder, this article is not making me feel much better about the labor dispute!!!

  13. LOL. He’s the modern version of Lamar Hunt back in the 70’s. Hunt would walk into a room with Carroll Rosenbloom, Al Davis, Clint Murchison, Edward Bennett Williams, etc., (usually in an off-the-rack suit) and sit down quietly knowing he could buy and sell all of them combined.

  14. Allen didn’t make his billions by owning the Seahawks, nor did Ross make his billions by owning the Dolphins. So using these two as your examples is like saying Mike Neismith made his fortune by being a member of the Monkees, instead of the truth that he inherited it from his mother, who invented White-Out…

  15. Just goes to show that the owner’s wealth doesn’t exactly translate into a successful NFL team and vice versa.

  16. everyone is Peyton Peyton Peyton on here….anyone have actual numbers????

    and screw the Rooneys, im the poorest owner along with my 100K+ packer brethren!

  17. The relevance of Paul Allen’s net worth means what exactly in the grand scheme of things. They guy didn’t make $13 billion from owning the Seahawks. Last I checked he made that money starting up some sort of software company. For all we know he could be operating his NFL team at a loss because he doesn’t need money.

  18. Part of the reason I back the owners over players

    -Pretty much all the owners were rich before they owned their team.Where players simply get rich from them game.

    -Theres 32 owners who are exspected to pay Thousands of players.Supply benafits to ten of thousands players look at Rooney you think hes in it for the money? How about the packers ? Hell even the Redskins if Daniel Synder cared about money he wouldn’t have paid Haynesworth 100million.

  19. @30octave …

    Dan Rooney’s wealth is tied up in the value of the team, which his father bought with his winnings from a horse race. He’s not some silver-spoon fed diva or Internet billionaire. His dad continued living in the same place as the neighborhood deteriorated because he could walk to Mass and then to the stadium every day. And even though Dan has far less money than the other owners and is carrying huge debt due to the Steelers buyout, he’s been on the side of the players throughout this process.

    If you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s better to keep quiet.

  20. And the union and its supporters think a season of no football will hurt these owners where it counts – in the wallet? The owners will cry and gnash their teeth, but go broke? Between crying jags, these owners will still be making money hands-over-fists and employing more accountants to find loopholes for writing off the NFL as a losing investment. Who has who by the balls?

  21. Good for him. We don’t live in Russia or some commie country. He created opportunity, wealth and thousands of jobs for thousands of families with his and Gate’s company. He deserves every penny. Without the incentive for people to gain so much, so much would not be gained. I go here to remind my some of the commies that post here.

    That said, he still gets Larry Ellison’s hand me downs.

  22. @Deb:
    Mr Rooney did walk to mass; Mr Rooney did hand out fifty-cent pieces to poor people he passed in the street; Mr Rooney did buy the Steelers with the winnings from a horse race. BUT…Mr Rooney also ran gambling houses and was associated with Pittsburgh’s northside Irish “mafia”, and many of the half-dollars he handed out was money lost in his betting parlors. He did live on Pittsburgh’s north side in a mansion which, I think, his family still resides in today; and that part of Pittsburgh’s north side was also known as “millionaire’s row”. Let’s not put a halo on Mr Rooney’s head, even tho he did some good things; if the RICO laws were in effect 75 years ago, I would venture the Steelers would have different owners today…as would a lot of other NFL teams.

  23. Soooo I’m supposed to feel sorry for the players ???

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Shouldn’t the owners be wealthier than the players……..

  24. If the veteran players invested their multi-million $ contacts wisely, instead of wasting it on bling, expensive vehicles and their posse followers, they might make it to Forbes list too.

  25. Someone posted earlier asking the question, ‘what is the relevance of any of the owner’s net worth?’

    The unintended relevance provided by is to demonstrate that what motivates all of the union supporters around here is class envy and hatred. Look at the comments from the usual suspects.

    Michael Moore wannabes.

  26. Best part is that Paul Allen is a liberal! I bet he’s rethinking that right about now.

  27. Rooney is down to $150 million because he had to pay the ref’s for the last two Lombardi’s.

    It was money well spent because he made it in merchandising sales the following years.

  28. The Packers don’t even HAVE an owner. I guess you don’t need an owner to win a Super Bowl. All you need is a great general manager who gets good players, and good coaches.

  29. The trials and tribulations of millionaires if they don’t work this out and I don’t get see football this season I’ll be pissed I’ve been to more games than I can count and it’s the only sport worth watching on tv

  30. dude need to give me 1 billion..he’ll still havve 12 billion after it’ll be nice to have 999,999,999 dollars

  31. With all that $ you’d think they could pay for some better looking uniforms in Seattle.

  32. ummm…. (Microsoft!) DUUUUHHHH?!?!?!

    Whats you typing on? Microsoft.

    What you reading on? Microsoft.

    What you browsing on? Microsoft.


  33. Please call Gregg. No discerning adult would find a reason for censoring this post.

    @30octave …

    Right. One owner could have stopped the others. Talk about reaching 🙄 Rooney has spoken out in support of the players, but he’s outnumbered by the nouveau riche. Dude, you and I are on the same side in this thing.

    @mayfieldroadboy …

    Oooh, I never put a halo on the Chief. I’m not naive enough to put a halo on anyone 🙂 Was only making the point that he lived a more low-key lifestyle than the Botox and bling crowd that characterizes some newer owners. I’m well aware that he diversified into gambling operations, but since there’s no record of wrongdoing, you’re speculating about what might have been 75 years ago. However, RICO laws have been in effect for more than 40 years, and we know Dan Rooney–the subject of the discussion–is clean since he was vetted by the feds for his current State Dept. post.

  34. Any one of these owners has more wealth than myself, my family and my friends combined yet they are hell bent on taking every penny they can get from me and all of the NFL fans. Something is really wrong with this scenario…

  35. phinfan says: Mar 10, 2011 7:05 PM

    Whats you typing on? Microsoft.

    What you reading on? Microsoft.

    What you browsing on? Microsoft.

    I’m typing on a Logitech keyboard.

    I’m reading on an Asus monitor, the other one is a Samsung.

    I’m browsing on Firefox.

    Cool story bro.

  36. If Carson Palmer has $80m in the bank like reports suggest you can damn well be sure Manning has close if not more than Rooney.

  37. Guys NET worth 150 Million. Manning’s contract was a GROSS 90+ million but if he saw 50 million of that I would be surprised. No NFL player is remotely close to a 150 Million NET – NET worth.

  38. In related news……
    Bill Gates is wealthier than any Microsoft worker.

    Warren Buffett is wealthier than anyone else at Berkshire Hathaway.

    The Walton family is wealthier than any Walmart employee.

    Larry Ellison has more money than any employee of Oracle.

    The Ford family is richer than any of the people on the assembly line.

    Steve Jobs is the big money guy at Apple.

    The list goes on and on.

    If you want to be seriously wealthy, start your own company, and build it into an empire. If not…..hopefully one of these moguls will give you a job that pays well. Be grateful for it.

  39. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says:
    Mar 10, 2011 5:47 PM
    Hey, Packer “owners.” You own a piece of paper that says you’re an owner. You have no say in how the team is run. If you’re really an owner, that means Carl Gerbschmidt really has won a Super Bowl.


    We may not have a say in personnel decisions, but we certainly do have a say in how some aspects of the team are run. You’re just jealous because your team is terrible. I don’t blame you, your team really is that bad. I’d probably be a little angry and just randomly lash out at others, too, if my team was that bad.

  40. The discussion about whether Sam Walton is worth more than Wal-Mart employees misrepresents the issue. For one thing, if every single Wal-Mart employee walked off the job tomorrow, Walton’s heirs could replace them within a week. Other than those at the corporate level, the employees are unskilled labor.

    NFL players are part of a unique partnership–the same kind that exists between authors and publishers, actors and film producers. They are the product. The owners have no business without them. They can’t be replaced by a cattle-call job fair. That’s why they’re entitled to a larger share of the profits. And they are not asking or demanding to earn more than the owners.

    Bear in mind that the players are not the ones who chose to throw out the current agreement to demand more money. The owners did that.

  41. fish751 says:
    Mar 10, 2011 5:33 PM
    That is a big piece of cake!!!

    Yesterday I dug $7.25 in change from under the seats of my car to buy a f in hoagie. So it is safe to say, as an NFL season ticket holder, this article is not making me feel much better about the labor dispute!!!


    My guess would be if you have to dig through your car seats to get enough money to buy a sandwich then you shouldn’t be spending money on NFL season tickets. I’m not a financial advisor or a CPA but I would guess that the money spent on football tickets should be shifted over to your food budget.

  42. capslockkey says: Mar 10, 2011 5:18 PM

    Isn’t Manning’s net worth around $115 million? Not THAT far off from Rooney.


    Percentage-wise maybe….

    But I’d say the $1,300 you have in your bank account is kind of a long way from $35,000,000.

    I don’t think the average person can even perceive the difference between $1,000,000 and $1,000,000,000. Once you are into the millions, you are just talking gibberish to most people.

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