By Jay Skurski
The Buffalo Bills are valued at $805 million according to the latest list of the 50 most valuable franchises in sports by Forbes Magazine. That makes them the 46th most valuable franchise in sports, and the 29th most valuable NFL franchise out of the 30 that appear on Forbes' list. That's four spots lower than in 2012, when the team was ranked 42nd and valued at $792 million.
The Dallas Cowboys, valued at $2.1 billion, are the most valuable National Football League franchise, fifth on the overall list, followed in sixth by the New England Patriots at $1.635 billion.
"The Bills had eight games blacked out on local TV over the past three years, due to a lack of sellouts. Fans are fed up after eight straight losing seasons. The Bills get a boost from taxpayer subsidizes of roughly $7 million a year that go towards stadium operating and capital improvement costs," reads the blurb on the team on the magazine's website.
The top three spots on the magazine's list are all held by European soccer clubs, No. 1 being Real Madrid, followed by Manchester United and Barcelona. Madrid has the highest revenues in sports, $650 million in the 2011-12 season, according to Forbes, and is valued at $3.3 billion. The club has an interesting ownership structure. It is owned by 93,000 members who pay $195 annually. Forbes compares this to the Green Bay Packers, which are owned by 364,000 shareholders.
The most valuable Major League Baseball franchise is the New York Yankees ($2.3 billion, fourth overall). The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only National Hockey League franchise in the top 50, at No. 31 overall with a value of $1 billion.
The NFL is undoubtedly king, occupying 20 of the top 30 spots on the list and 30 of 50 overall.