MINNEAPOLIS -- Forbes Magazine's annual valuations of all 32 NFL teams are in, and while the Minnesota Vikings still rank among the bottom half of the league, the franchise is once again estimated to be worth more than $1 billion -- and its value should continue to rise.
The Vikings are projected to be worth $1.15 billion, ranking 20th in the NFL, according to Forbes. That valuation is up from the $1.07 billion figure Forbes gave the Vikings in 2013, and represents a $319 million increase since the Minnesota State Legislature approved funding for the Vikings' new stadium in May 2012.
According to Forbes' calculations, the Vikings had revenues of $250 million in 2013 and an operating income of $5.3 million; the latter figure was the lowest in the NFL, but the magazine has typically calculated the Vikings' income to be among the league's lowest. It's also worth remembering the Vikings handed out new contracts to Brian Robison, Matt Cassel, Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph and Captain Munnerlyn during the 2013-14 fiscal year. While the next two years could be lean for the Vikings financially, the opening of their new stadium in 2016 should provide an infusion of cash.
For the eighth consecutive season, the Dallas Cowboys sat atop Forbes' rankings, with an estimated value of $3.2 billion. According to Forbes, the only franchise in the world worth more than the Cowboys is Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, at $3.4 billion.
According to Forbes, the Chicago Bears are the league's eighth-most valuable franchise at $1.7 billion. The Green Bay Packers came in 13th at $1.375 billion, and the Detroit Lions were 30th at $960 million.
Here's what Forbes had to say about the Vikings:
The Vikings will move into a new $975 million stadium for the 2016 season. The team will play at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the University of Minnesota football team, during the preceding two seasons. TCF stadium holds 51,000 fans, 14,000 less than the Metrodome. The contract calls for the Vikings to pay the university $250,000 for every game and an additional $50,000 in concession and advertising revenue. The university will keep all parking revenue and the Vikings are responsible for paying for upgrades to TCF Bank Stadium that are required, including heating the artificial turf field, winterizing the stadium so that it can be fully operational in November, December and January, and adding seats to increase capacity.