Forbes’ annual NFL franchise valuations check-in is here. And just as was the case with the Sportico valuations that had the Chicago Bears just outside the top-5 in terms of most valuable NFL franchises, Forbes has Chicago’s football team ranking among the NFL’s elite.
According to Forbes’ calculations, the Bears are the fifth-most-valuable team in the NFL. Forbes has the Bears worth $5.8 billion, which is more than a few dollars north of the $5 billion flat Sportico’s calculations put on the Bears earlier this month. But what’s $800 million or so among friends who calculate team values? The number also represents a 42 percent increase from last year’s valuation of the Bears. This makes the Bears one of four teams — along with the Bills, Raiders, and Browns — to see an increase in franchise value of at least 40 percent.
And while seeing a valuation boost of 40 percent and a franchise value nearing $6 billion is neat, this passage from Forbes stopped me in my tracks (bold emphasis mine):
“The Bears are the lone NFL team in the country’s third-largest market, a big attraction for a wealthy buyer looking to break into the league. In addition, the Bears are moving toward getting either a new stadium in suburban Arlington Heights or a renovation of Soldier Field. Both scenarios would add a lot of money to the team’s coffers.”
Well casual mention certainly has my attention. We just saw the Denver Broncos sell for $4.65 billion back in June. And there have been rumblings dating back to 2021 that the McCaskey family was debating selling the team. That the team has been pushing forward with new corporate sponsors and positioning a move to Arlington Heights since that report came out will only add to future projections. Not to mention fuel to the fire that the Bears could sell. Perhaps even sooner than we might think.
In any case, we knew Chicago’s football team was one of the league’s most valuable. And we were already figuring that a new stadium on the horizon would only boost those numbers. But clearly there is more for us to keep tabs on as we move along.
For more from Forbes, I’d encourage you to read through their entire NFL valuation package: