If you’re one of a few people with the cash, the Denver Broncos could be yours.Image: Getty Images
The Denver Broncos are calling all billionaires as they prepare to auction off their franchise, valued at around $4 billion on the market, in what will likely turn out to be the biggest sale in sports history.
In the removed-from-reality economy of the 200 or 300 richest people in America who actually have that kind of money, an NFL team has proven to be a solid investment with consistent returns from ticket sales, TV deals, and the like providing some of the benefit, but mostly with the league’s appreciation rate skyrocketing. Yahoo! Sports reports that NFL franchises have appreciated by 600 percent in the past two decades.
Owning a sports franchise is one thing, but an NFL franchise in this day and age has become a different beast altogether, with league bylaws making it available only to the richest of the richest of the rich — and within that already small group, there has to be someone interested in buying it.
For a new owner to be approved, 24 of the existing owners have to OK the purchase, and the new buyer, as a majority investor, must own at least 30 percent of the franchise. Thirty percent of four billion is $1.2 billion, and that’s the absolute minimum in liquid assets that we’re looking at here.
It seems like fake money at this point, and I have to wonder when we ask the question: is this how things should be? Is there a real benefit in requiring someone to step up and spend more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes on a sports team? NFL money is difficult to comprehend in its enormous quantity — in 2021, the NFL as a whole made nearly $10 billion in total revenue, which gets split evenly between the teams, so there’s not a huge risk in buying a “bad” franchise (although venue-related sales are not evenly distributed). Ten billion dollars. I mean, not to get too off topic here, but it’s no wonder that they seem to think that they operate on a different playing field than the rest of us (Washington Football Team investigation, CTE coverups, etc), nor that they will…