The Billionaires’ Club: A Look At The Wealthy Owners Of The NFL

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24 November 2023

Sports

Who Owns The NFL

An elite club is hidden behind the most played game in the country. It currently requires billions of dollars and the consent of the majority of its members to join. The National Football League’s 32 teams are home to fierce supporters, elite players, and endless quarterbacking on Monday mornings.

If your NFL team wins a Super Bowl, you can lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and if you don’t, fans will drag you off the field. But you will always be profitable, win or lose. A sizable portion of your income is already guaranteed, primarily from the rich broadcast rights that are divided among all teams. Sales of tickets and sponsorship agreements will put a little more money in your pocket.

According to Michael MacCambridge, author of “America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation,” an NFL team is the ultimate collectible item, “more satisfying than the most expensive sports car or wristwatch you can imagine.”

There will be a new team in one owner’s box following the sale of the Washington Commanders, which happened recently for a record $6.05 billion.

So who owns the NFL? Is there just one or a whole club? Here we have all the details.

Who Owns The NFL?

Who Owns The NFL

There are 32 teams in the NFL, and here are a few noteworthy. Check out if your home team is on the list:

Arizona Cardinals: Michael Bidwill

Arizona Cardinals: Michael Bidwill
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58 years old

History of ownership: In 1933, Charles Bidwell, his grandfather, purchased the Cardinals. In 1971, his father acquired sole ownership of the team, which he inherited in 2019.

Other highlights of his career included serving as a federal prosecutor in Phoenix, Arizona, for six years.

Baltimore Ravens: Steve Bisciotti

Baltimore Ravens: Steve Bisciotti
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[Age] 63

History of ownership: He paid $300 million for 49% of the Ravens in 2000 and $600 million for the remaining 51% in 2004.

Other notable achievements in his career include founding the technology and aerospace staffing company Aerotek and the talent management company Allegis Group.

Buffalo Bills: Terry And Kim Pegula

Buffalo Bills: Terry and Kim Pegula
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Terri (age 72) and Kim (age 54)

History of ownership: In 2014, the Pegula family paid $1.4 billion to acquire the Buffalo Bills.

Other highlights of his career: Terry’s investments in natural gas and oil allowed him to amass a fortune. (He made an estimated $6.5 billion when he sold East Resources in 2010.

Carolina Panthers: David Tepper

Carolina Panthers: David Tepper
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65 years old

Past ownership: In 2018, he paid $2.2 billion to purchase the Carolina Panthers.

Additional highlights of his career include founding and serving as president of the hedge fund Appaloosa Management.

Chicago Bears: Virginia Marion Halas McCaskey

Chicago Bears: Virginia Marion Halas McCaskey
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100 years old

History of ownership: Her father, George Halas, the founder and owner of the Chicago Bears, left her the team.

Other highlights of her career: The Bears franchise has dominated her life.

Cincinnati Bengals: Mike Brown

Cincinnati Bengals: Mike Brown
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88 years old

History of ownership: After his father passed away in 1991, he inherited the team, but his father, Paul, did not hold the majority. In 2011, Mike paid $200 million to acquire an additional 30% of the team’s shares, granting the Brown family the majority.

Additional career highlights: He has worked for the franchise for the majority of his career.

Cleveland Browns: Dee And Jimmy Haslam

Cleveland Browns: Dee And Jimmy Haslam
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(Dee and Jimmy) Age: 69

History of ownership: In 2012, the Browns were bought by the Haslams for $1.05 billion.

Additional professional highlights include Jimmy’s role as CEO of Pilot Flying J truck stop chain and Dee’s role as RIVR Media’s founder and executive producer.

Detroit Lions: Sheila Ford Hamp

Detroit Lions: Sheila Ford Hamp
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71 years old

History of ownership: In 2020, she succeeded her mother, Martha Firestone Ford as the primary owner. In 1963, her father, William Clay Ford, Sr., bought the team.

Other highlights of her career included being a stay-at-home mother to her three sons and supporting her mother when Martha took over the Lions in 2014.

Green Bay Packers: Green Bay Packers Inc.

Green Bay Packers: Green Bay Packers Inc
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Since 1923, the Packers have been owned by the public for the past century. A total of 5.2 million shares are available, with a maximum holding limit of 200,000 shares per person. Sports Illustrated says, “This isn’t your average stock. There’s no profiting off shares. No lucky Green Bay fan will get rich off the team’s next Super Bowl win because the stock pays no dividends and isn’t tradeable or saleable.”

Jacksonville Jaguars: Shahid Khan

Jacksonville Jaguars: Shahid Khan
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73 years old

History of ownership: In 2011, he paid $770 million to acquire the team.

Other highlights of his career included buying his former employer, the auto parts supplier Flex-N-Gate, and designing a successful one-piece truck bumper.

None Of The Owners Are Black

None Of The Owners Are Black

The absence of Black principals who owns NFL has drawn criticism. Diversity is lacking at all levels of leadership in a league where, in the 2022 season, 58% of the players were Black. Three of the head coaches entering the 2023 campaign are Black. However, there are a few select partners, such as former athletes Warrick Dunn of the Falcons and John Stallworth of the Steelers. Tennis players Serena and Venus Williams supported the Dolphins.

Wrapping Up

America’s favorite sport will once again dominate TV coverage starting tonight with the National Football League (NFL) season and continuing until the Super Bowl in February. The NFL made almost $12 billion in revenue in 2022, and this season will likely see even more of an increase.

We at Town & Country were intrigued by the select group of extremely wealthy individuals who have the privilege of being NFL team owners.”In American capitalism, there are very few golden tickets and certainties,” Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times author Mark Leibovich stated to the Washington Post. However, owning an NFL team is about as certain as it gets because it indicates that “you’re printing money.”

If you have thoughts to share or questions to ask about who owns NFL, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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Sarmind is a Writer and an aspiring Editor who has experience in various short and long-form niches. Her academic pursuits intensely mold her industry background in content creation. She holds a Master's degree in Literature, and when not writing for professional purposes, she can be found re-reading old classics of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. She is super fond of cats and enjoys hours of doom-scrolling through memes on social media while cuddled up with a cup of desi chai. She likes to think she is an intellectual badass (colloquial: nerdy bore), and now all she needs is a sewing kit to complete the look!

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