Forbes Magazine has sacked the Chicago Bears for a loss.
In an article published Wednesday, the magazine called the Bears the “most neglected brand” in the NFL and in the same sub-headline “the best opportunity in football.”
That’s because Forbes reports that the Bears, worth $1.07 billion, could be worth an additional $800 million if the organization could maximize the opportunities in the second-largest market in the NFL. The Bears are in the smallest stadium in the NFL, Soldier Field, which was renovated in 2003. Team president Ted Phillips, who brokered the deal with the city for the new stadium, said that the seating capacity is a primary reason why the Bears raised ticket prices this season.
“We're not one of those teams where an owner can infuse their own capital from their other personal business ventures,” Phillips told Forbes. “This is the McCaskey's number one asset. Jerry Jones can leverage. We don't have that ability.”
Marc Ganis, the president of SportsCorp., a Chicago-based consultant group, said, “The Bears are one of the least innovative teams in the NFL.”
Here is the stinger in the article: “All that managerial ineptitude has a bright side, though: The Bears are the greatest unlocked asset in professional sports, with a potential to be worth $800 million more than they are now.
“They should be right up there in value [with], if not higher than, the Cowboys, Redskins and Patriots,” Ganis said.
One of the issues for the Bears is a poor stadium situation, not just the size of the seating bowl. The Bears pay $5.7 million each year in rent in a lease that runs through 2033. The team doesn’t make money on the building, though, the 352 days a year in which there isn’t a game in the stadium.
The breakdown is across the board for the organization, per the report. For instance, the Patriots command $12.8 million in local broadcast revenues. The Bears are in a metropolitan area that is twice the size and they pull in only $8.3 million.
It’s an interesting read and explains much about the franchise.
Follow me on Twitter: BradBiggs