Back of the Envelope Series on NFL Stadium Deals


With three NFL teams vying to relocate to Los Angeles, much of the press coverage has been devoid of financial analysis.  This series will use ten years worth of NFL valuation data from Forbes magazine to try and understand the financial implications for both the teams and the communities.    In the past 10 years, the following NFL teams have built new stadiums:

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • New York Giants
  • New York Jets
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • New Orleans Saints
  • San Francisco 49ers

The following graph shows the average age of NFL stadiums in each of the last 10 years.  Over the course of the period, the average age declined from 17 years to 15 years.

Average Age of NFL Stadiums 2006 to 2015
Average Age of NFL Stadiums 2006 to 2015


The following box plot (click here for help interpreting box plots) summarizes costs in 2014 dollars of all the NFL stadiums in use for that year:

All Stadiums in Use for Given Year
All Stadiums in Use for Given Year

The dots that appear in the upper right section of the chart represent recently constructed stadiums that because of their higher costs the plotting package considers outliers.    For example, the highest dot for the 2010 year represents the new stadium shared by the NY Giants and the NY Jets.  In 2010 dollars its cost was $1.4 Billion and in the equivalent in 2014 dollars is $1.5 Billion.  The dots represent the clear trend towards more expensive stadiums.

Subsequent posts will attempt to explicate the profits generated by these stadiums as well as the specifics of the stadium financing.



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