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Forbes Rips Financial Acumen Of Chicago Bears Ownership

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In an article in its Sept. 13 issue, and available online here, Forbes Magazine writer Monte Burke pulls no punches.

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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:

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  • 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),
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  • The article speculates that the team could be worth $800 million more, calling the Bears “the greatest unlocked asset in professional sports,”
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  • The team pays $5.7 million in rent annually on a Soldier Field lease that runs through 2033,
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  • Because the Bears rent, they reap zero financial benefits from extracurricular events (such as concerts), and
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  • Soldier Field offers the fewest seats of any stadium in the NFL, thanks in part to the 2003 renovation.
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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.