The Washington Redskins, worth $2.85 billion, came in at No. 8 in Forbes’ 50 most valuable sports teams list on Wednesday.
This is the most the Redskins have been worth since Forbes started the list in 2011. Since the inception of Forbes’ list, the Redskins have exponentially grown their worth by 1.3 billion. Back in 2011, the Redskins were worth $1.55 billion. For comparison, back in 2011, no team was worth more than $2 billion. Today, there are 24 teams worth more than $2 billion, seven teams worth more than $3 billion and one team worth $4 billion.
In 2015, the team was worth $2.4 billion. That was the first time the team was worth more than $2 billion. Now the team is on the verge of eclipsing $3 billion.
Back in 1999, after the death of then-owner Jack Kent Cooke, Dan Snyder bought the team for $800 million, the most expensive purchase of a sports franchise at the time. (That record has since been out-done multiple times.) When Snyder bought the team, he said he wasn’t focused on the dollars and cents.
“I’m not focused on the money, I’m focused on the opportunity and the dream,” Snyder said. “… Hundreds of fans have written to me with their support and suggestions. … Your most pressing issue is no different than mine. You want to win, we want to win, and we’re going to deliver that.”
In the 17 years since the purchase, the team’s revenue and operating income has skyrocketed. The current revenue stream is $439 million, while the team’s operating income is $124.9 million. Both of those figures rank third in the league, behind the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots.
When Snyder took over, the annual revenue was approximately $100 million a year. But partnerships with Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Sprint and FedEx have helped inflate that number.
But just because the team has money, that doesn’t mean it’s winning, as Snyder promised in 1999. Since Snyder bought the team, the Redskins have posted a 117-155 record and have advanced to the playoffs just four times. They’ve lost four straight playoff games as well, with the last playoff win coming in the NFC wild card game in 2005 against Tampa Bay.
The most valuable team in the world, the Dallas Cowboys, aren’t winning either. Since their last Super Bowl win in 1995, the team is 155-166. But at least Cowboys fans can say owner Jerry Jones has taken them to a Super Bowl or three.