While I love watching other sports like soccer and NASCAR, there is just something about football season that makes me happy. Maybe it’s the food, maybe it’s the RedZone, maybe it’s the fact that it has one of the shortest seasons is all of professional sports so you have to just enjoy everything that you can get. Even though I love the sport, I don’t have a favorite team. But often I find myself wondering, how in the world did these owners get the money in order to purchase an NFL team? I mean, it’s certainly not cheap to own a professional sports franchise, but that’s even more the case when it comes to NFL teams. A typical NFL franchise costs about $1 billion! In most cases, that’s a pretty solid investment. But if you have a curious mind like myself, then you’re just wondering where all that money comes from. Well below you’ll see all 32 teams and just how NFL team owners made their money.
1. Buffalo Bills – Terry Pegula – Natural Gas
2. Chicago Bears – Virginia Halas McCaskey – Her father was the founder, coach, coordinator, and owner of the Bears.
3. Carolina Panthers – Jerry Richardson – CEO of the company that ran every Denny’s in the country.
4. Cleveland Browns – Jimmy Haslam – CEO of Pilot Flying J Truck Stops
5. Detroit Lions – Martha Ford – Ford Motor Company
6. Atlanta Falcons – Arthur Blank – Co-Founded Home Depot
7. Baltimore Ravens – Stephen Bisciotti – Staffing Firms For Engineering And Tech Companies
8. Denver Broncos – Pat Bowlen – Successful Lawyer and Oil Driller
9. Kansas City Chiefs – Clark Hunt – Clark’s Grandfather Was An Oil Tycoon
10. Green Bay Packers – Green Bay Packers, Inc. – Now this one is interesting. There isn’t one single person that owns the Packers. There are currently 360,760 shareholders that own the packers. They are the only NFL team who have this banned type of ownership that was grandfathered in.
11. Houston Texans – Robert C. McNair – Sold a Power Plant to Enron in 1999
12. Jacksonville Jaguars – Shahid Kahn – Supplied bumpers to General Motors and Toyota
13. Arizona Cardinals – Bill Bidwill – Bill Bidwill inherited the team from his father. His father was a lawyer and was linked to Al Capone.
14. Miami Dolphins – Stephen M. Ross – Tax Attorney and Real Estate
15. Indianapolis Colts – Jim Isray – Heating and Air Conditioning Companies
16. Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones – Oil Tycoon
17. Oakland Raiders – Mark and Carol Davis – Inherited the Raiders after Al Davis passed away.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Glazer Family – Trailer Parks, Shopping Malls, Watch Business
19. Minnesota Vikings – Zygi Wilf – Building Houses, Shopping Malls, Retail Space
20. St. Louis Rams – Stan Kroenke – Real Estate but also has ties with Walmart
21. San Diego Chargers – Alex Spanos – Apartment and Commercial Building Construction
22. New York Jets – Robert Wood Johnson – Johnson & Johnson Company Heir
23. New Orleans Saints – Tom Benson – Car Dealerships and Banks
24. San Francisco 49ers – Jed York – Construction and Real Estate
25. New York Giants – John Mara and Steve Tisch – Bookkeeping at Horse Racing Circuits which began with $500 in 1925.
26. Washington Redskins – Dan Snyder – Telemarketing and Direct Marketing for Medical Supplies.
27. Tennessee Titans – KSA Industries – Bud Adams was the original owner, who made his money thanks to oil. However when he passed away in 2013, the ownership of the team was turned over to KSA Industries which is a private holding company he set up before his death.
28. New England Patriots – Robert Kraft – Packaging, Real Estate, Entertainment Ventures
29. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dan Rooney – The team was inherited from Dan’s father who started the team in 1933 with just $2500.
30. Philadelphia Eagles – Jeffrey Lurie – Movie Theaters, Bottling Companies, Clothing Retailers
31. Cincinnati Bengals – Mike Brown – Mike’s father was the coach for the Cleveland Browns, then went on to found the Bengals.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Paul Allen – Co-Founder of Microsoft
Some of these people definitely inherited their fortune, but there are a few Cinderella stories that went from rags to riches. It’s impressive what people can do with a little hard work and determination. Maybe one day, if I continue to work my behind off, I’ll have enough money to buy an NFL team and move them to my home state!