On the value of AFC South teams

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
2:03
PM ET
NFL teams are incredibly valuable.

And while the AFC South is composed of two relocated teams and two expansion teams, their price tags aren’t affected much by their relatively short histories.

According to Forbes’ annual report on the most valuable franchises in professional sports, they are all in the top 47.

The Texans are the division's most valuable team, ranking 13th at $1.2 billion.

Says Forbes: “The Texans qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2011 by winning the AFC South. The Texans already were cash cow, despite their lack of success during the franchise's first nine years. They generate $50 million annually from nearly 200 luxury suites and 8,400 club seats, and their naming rights deal with Reliant Energy is the second biggest in NFL, behind only MetLife's for the Giants and Jets home. Reliant is paying $300 million over 30 years.”

The Colts rank 19th at $1.06 billion.

Says Forbes: “The Colts start a new era with the 2012 season after parting ways with Peyton Manning and drafting new franchise quarterback Andrew Luck out of Stanford with the new No. 1 overall pick. The Colts fell apart in 2011--winning just two games with Manning sidelined the whole year after multiple neck surgeries. 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.”

The Titans are 32nd at $964 million.

Says Forbes: “The Titans play in one of the NFL's smallest markets but are consistently profitable thanks to a ardent fan base. The team sold out its 69,000-seat LP Field last season, which it has done every year since the stadium opened in 1999 (134 games and counting). Team owner Bud Adams has a good lease with the city. The Titans operate the stadium and get reimbursed over $1 million a year for stadium upkeep. The team had 96.8% of season ticketholders renew their tickets for the 2011 season, but renewals are down in 2012 and the team is offering half-season tickets for first time at LP Field.

The Jaguars are 47th at $725 million.

Says Forbes: “(Shahid) Khan's purchase of the Jaguars was completed in January in a deal worth $760 million. The Pakistani-born American made his fortune with auto parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate, which generates $3 billion in annual revenue. Khan has vowed to keep the team in Jacksonville, despite attendance woes in recent seasons that led to nearly 10,000 upper deck seats being tarped over to encourage sellouts and satisfy the NFL's blackout policy.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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