In an article in its Sept. 13 issue, and available online here, Forbes Magazine writer Monte Burke pulls no punches.â†µ
He wants Chicago Bears fans and sports business enthusiasts of all stripes to know that the McCaskeys and President & CEO Ted Phillips have failed to maximize the revenues of what could be one of the most profitable franchises in the NFL. The article brings to light a number of interesting points about the team, including:â†µ
- With an estimated worth of $1.07 billion, the Bears are the lowest ranked big-market team in this year’s Forbes NFL valuations (ninth), â†µ
- The article speculates that the team could be worth $800 million more, calling the Bears “the greatest unlocked asset in professional sports,” â†µ
- The team pays $5.7 million in rent annually on a Soldier Field lease that runs through 2033, â†µ
- Because the Bears rent, they reap zero financial benefits from extracurricular events (such as concerts), and â†µ
- Soldier Field offers the fewest seats of any stadium in the NFL, thanks in part to the 2003 renovation. â†µ
Perhaps the most interesting nugget in the article regards who may take over the team when 87-year-old owner Virginia McCaskey passes on. Burke names a name, and it’s one all Bears fans should file away for future reference. What is it? We’ll let you read the article and find out for yourself.