Among the major debate points on the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium was how to account for the presumed rise in franchise value that a taxpayer-subsidized facility would bring. Although owner Zygi Wilf and his family insisted they had no intention of a quick sell after securing the stadium, the projected value jump was no doubt part of the calculations that left the Vikings and NFL paying $477 million toward the $975 million structure.
Of course, the true value of a team is what someone would pay for it. But we now have a credible projection of the Vikings' new value courtesy Forbes magazine's annual team valuations. According to Forbes, the Vikings realized a 22 percent increase in value as a result of stadium approval and are now worth $975 million.
Wilf and his partners purchased the team for $600 million in 2005. As we have discussed, they have funneled at least $100 million in personal cash into the franchise to keep it operating since then.
Keep in mind that the values of most other franchises have risen as well and 21 other teams are still considered more valuable than the Vikings. Forbes estimates the Dallas Cowboys at $2.1 billion and has 20 teams worth at least $1 billion.
A quick look at the values of the rest of the NFC North:
8. Chicago Bears: $1.19 billion
10. Green Bay Packers: $1.16 billion
27. Detroit Lions: $855M