It's OK, Peyton. Maybe one day you too will be worth $1.06 billion. (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)
Forbes recently released it's estimates for the Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Franchises on planet earth. Not surprisingly, the list is littered with NFL teams. From Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen:
The future looks even brighter for NFL teams thanks to a new labor agreement, as well as a new round of TV contracts. The league and its players endured a four-month lockout last year, but no regular-season games were lost. The new collective bargaining agreement ensures labor peace for 10 years and gives owners a bigger piece of the pie, as players settled for a salary cap based on 48% of total revenues versus roughly 54% in previous years.
The NFL inked extensions to its TV deals with CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC last year. The nine-year deals (ESPN is for eight years) start with the 2014 season and are worth $5 billion a year collectively, a 62% bump on the prior contracts. The average NFL team is worth $1.04 billion.
Interestingly, the Indianapolis Colts pop in at No. 19 on the list.
Again, that's 19th most valuable of all sports franchises anywhere.
No. 20 on the list is the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos. No. 24 is the Boston Red Sox. No. 27 is AC Milan. No. 35 is the Los Angeles Lakers.
Overall estimated value of the Colts is at $1.06 billion. What's a big reason why the value is so high (again, according to Forbes)?
The Colts have one of the best stadium deals in the NFL. The team pays just $250,000 a year in rent and the city covers all operating and maintenance expenses at Lucas Oil Stadium.
For those of you out there who wonder why a grump like me gets testy when Jim Irsay doesn't take advantage of new rules that make it easier for fans to watch games locally, it's because regardless of whether the new rules are agreed upon by the team or not, Irsay and the Colts are still rolling in dough.
Like, so much dough that if Irsay were to pick it all up and toss it in the air, he could literally "make it rain" greenbacks for 40 days and 40 nights.
When you're valued at $1.06 billion, and when a vast majority of that wealth comes from lucrative TV deals and a "we're totally fleecing you Hoosiers"-style stadium deal, what's the concern over how much money you lose on tickets?
Is there any concern?
It just seems like the ticket money is such a small piece of the pie. Why not make life easier on the fans by either lowing ticket costs or loosing the blackout rules? Especially considering that tickets are way too expensive, as are the stadiums concessions.
Think of it as a gesture, Mr. Irsay. You know, like scraps from the dinner table Medieval nobles used to toss to peasants.
Right now, it's just not worth it to go to an NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter for this season. The Colts look like they will sell out every game this year, due in some part to the Colts effectively scaring people into buying tickets last week.
I'd just like to see a fair deal. That's why I harp on this. If the deal isn't fair (and this one isn't to the point where it's almost tragically comedic), then I really don't care for Jim Irsay, Pete Ward, or anyone else at West 56th Street complaining about money. It's just insulting to hear these guys on on local radio and fart noise out of their mouths to the tune of, "We're a small market team and we have to do blah blah blah to make ends meet."
Get the f*ck outta here. You're worth $1.06 billion!!!
If you're struggling to make ends meet with that, fire your accountant (or, better yet, maybe you should be audited).