The Cleveland Browns are no longer worth a billion dollars.
The magazine values the Browns at $977 million, the first time since 2007 the value of the team dropped below $1 billion, according to the magazine.
It’s not like the Browns are hurting, though. Al Lerner bought the team for $530 million prior to the 1999 season, and it’s now worth $447 million more.
Keep in mind, though, that team owners cast a very wary eye at these values. When the Browns were first valued at $1 billion, owner Randy Lerner remarked to me that it sounded like a ranking from someone who didn’t really own the team. Or something like that.
But the rankings always prompt chatter.
Two European soccer teams are ranked one-two, Manchester United and Real Madrid at $2.23 billion and $1.88 billion (respectively).
The New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys are the highest valued U.S. team, at $1.85 billion each. The Jacksonville Jaguars the lowest at $725 million. All 32 NFL teams are included in the Top 50. The Browns can take some solace that they are worth more than the LA Lakers ($900 million), but the Reds, Indians and Cavs were not in the Top 50.
Forbes elaborates little on how it views the Browns, but it points out the Steelers have sold out every home game since 1972 and says the Bengals benefit from a “lean front office and sweetheart lease.”
Here’s a look at the past 10 years of values of the AFC North teams, all according to Forbes.