Forbes Ranks Buffalo Bills #33 on Most Valuable Team List

2:27 PM, Jul 24, 2010   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Forbes Magazine has ranked the Bills #33 on its list of "The World's Most Valuable Sports Teams."

The magazine pegs the Bills value at $909 million, and makes specific mention of the team's efforts to increase its fan base with the Bills in Toronto Series. 

In 2007, Forbes said the Bills were worth $885 million.

But, in the eyes of some experts, the increased value of the team may not be great news for its long-term future in the region.

"The more valuable they become, the higher the price might be to buy the team, and that's the issue," said Senior Columnist Vic Carucci.

As long as Bills' Owner Ralph Wilson is around, the team is almost certain to remain in Buffalo. Afterward, it is widely assumed that the team will be sold to the highest bidder.

That bidder will likely have to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the team. And in a region like Western New York, where the economy is struggling and where state taxes are high, experts worry it will be difficult for the next owner to make their money back.

"And unfortunately the chickens are coming home to roost for the governmental policies we've had over the past 50 years, and the Buffalo Bills may end up being a major casualty because of it," said Financial Planner Tony Ogorek of Ogorek Wealth Management in Amherst.

"Do the numbers work in such a small community such as Buffalo?" Ogorek asked.  "I don't know that anyone has demonstrated that is has."

Carucci also sounded skeptical.

"Who is going to make that investment? Is this area really up to doing it? Is the state of New York really up to doing that for this region for that stadium? I mean, I'm a skeptic about that, but I never say never," Carucci said.

Carucci said that, if the team were to change ownership, it could take years to actually move them team. He said other cities like L.A. or Toronto, which have expressed interest in acquiring an NFL franchise, are not currently able to build new stadiums to attract a team.

He also believes that the Jacksonville Jaguars would be a more likely candidate for a move.

The Bills are in the third year of a five-year agreement with Canadian company Rogers Communications to play five regular season and three pre-season games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto., which has increased the team's value.

Forbes Magazine

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