Minnesota Vikings' one-year value increase largest in NFL

A new stadium fueled a large increase in the Vikings' value.
A new stadium fueled a large increase in the Vikings' value.

SEE ALSO: ESPN's Mike and Mike still unaware of Vikings stadium deal, think team might move to L.A.

Unless you're Mike and Mike, this won't come as a surprise -- Zygi-land means $$$ for the Wilfs.

That's on display today as Forbes released its annual NFL team values ranking. And the biggest one-year winner is the Vikings, as the local franchise increased in value more than any other in the league.

Since last year, the Vikes' value increased by 22 percent. The San Francisco 49ers came in second with a 19 percent jump.

Wilf and his partners paid $600 million for the franchise back in 2005. The team is now worth $975 million, meaning that Zygi and co. could realize a very solid return on their investment if they were to sell. But the $477 million contribution the Vikings and NFL made toward the new stadium is also evident in Forbes' report, as the Vikes' 34 percent debt-to-value ratio is the fourth-highest in the league. Of course, with revenues set to only increase once the new stadium opens, it shouldn't prove too difficult for the team to pay down its debts.

Perhaps the most astonishing tidbit from Forbes' report is the fact that the Dallas Cowboys are not only the most valuable team in American pro sports -- the $2.1 billion franchise is worth more than the entire NBA or NHL.

But don't feel bad for teams at the bottom of the list, like Oakland, St. Louis, and Jacksonville (the three least-valuable franchises, respectively). The report makes clear that owning a struggling-by-comparison franchise is still a very lucrative investment.

From Forbes:

[E]ven low-revenue and badly run teams have delivered big returns for their owners. Wayne Weaver paid $208 million for the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1993. The small-market Jaguars have never been to the Super Bowl and have made it to the postseason only twice since 1999. In January billionaire Shahid Khan paid $770 million for the team. The Cleveland Browns have lost 67% of their games and have qualified for the postseason just once since the late Al Lerner paid $530 million for the team in 1998. His son Randy is in the process of selling the Browns to James Haslam, an investor in the Steelers, for $987 million.

Better than playing the stock market, no? Now, if only raising $600 million to buy a team were so easy...

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