NEW YORK – The Dallas Cowboys are the first American sports franchise worth more than $2 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
The NFL's most valuable team for the sixth consecutive year, the Cowboys saw their overall worth increase 14 percent to $2.1 billion. That's about $1 billion higher than the average NFL team value, $1.11 billion, up 7 percent.
Only Manchester United of the English Premier League, at $2.24 billion, is more valuable than the Cowboys, according to Forbes' surveys. And Man U's owners, the Glazer family, also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are $1.033 billion, 18th in the NFL.
New TV contracts, the collective bargaining agreement signed last year that will last a decade, and higher premium seating revenue contributed to the increases. Every franchise except the Cincinnati Bengals increased in value; the Bengals stayed the same at $871 million, which ranks 26th overall.
With new stadiums in the works for the Vikings and 49ers, their values skyrocketed. Minnesota had a 22 percent increase to $975 million, while San Francisco moved up 19 percent to $1.175 billion.
Jimmy Haslam III bought the Cleveland Browns this summer for $1 billion, $13 million more than the value Forbes placed on the team, which ranks 21st.
Shahid Khan purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars for $770 million in January. Forbes values them at exactly that — the least valuable franchise in the league, $10 million less than the St. Louis Rams.
Rounding out the top five are New England ($1.635 billion), Washington ($1.6 billion), the New York Giants ($1.468 billion) and Houston ($1.305 billion).