With limited capacity in the AT&T Stadium and a generation of fans already attuned to ‘second screens’ during live events, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones plans to spend game days on social media this season, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said during a Sportico Live event on Wednesday.
Dallas holds the top spot on Sportico’s list of the most valuable NFL franchises with a valuation of $6.43 billion, nearly $1.5 billion more than the second-place New England Patriots $4.97 billion. Team-related businesses and real estate investments have helped bolster that number higher than ever, and it may still be a bargain.
Jerry Jones has previously stated he wouldn’t sell the team for anything less than $10 billion. And while the number would eliminate many buyers, RedBird Capital founder Gerry Cardinale, also speaking at the event, said Jones’s asking price isn’t unreasonable.
“You have the unicorn of all time, in terms of what they have built,” Cardinale said. “They’ve really distinguished themselves in the local market. There’s infrastructure, intellectual property, fan engagement and community involvement…. So when you look at all that, $10 billion does not seem crazy.”
All participants in the program, including Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff, felt Commissioner Roger Goodell’s goal of $25 billion in annual revenue by the year 2027 was well within reach, and would largely be driven by expanded media rights and gambling.
“The greatest change is going to come from more people consuming NFL content and NFL games in different way,” Demoff said. “If they do that then that comes along with increased gaming, increased media spend and the league growing internationally.”
Jones agreed, pointing out that gaming was in its nascent stages and that expanded consumption of the game is key to growth. “At the end of the day the big growth is the media, whether that’s streaming or nontraditional ways to view our content, I still believe that’s the number one driver of valuations,” said Jones.
The NFL and its clubs are structured as long-term value propositions. The Rams, who ranked 26th in revenue, are nonetheless third in Sportico’s total team value, largely due to the team’s funding of SoFi Stadium, set to open this season. Demoff said the Rams’ branding around the stadium will be much different than the New England Patriots’ Patriot Place. With one million square feet of office space, a 300-room hotel, 18 to 20 restaurants, a movie theater and a 6,000-seat performance center, Demoff said it’ll likely take decades to build and monetize.
However, once everything is complete, he imagines that the development will be worth more than both the team and the stadium.
The $99 billion collective value of the NFL’s 32 teams didn’t seem to surprise DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA. “If you want the understatement of the century, the NFL is doing good,” Smith quipped.
A replay link will be available on Sportico next week.