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List of NFL franchise owners

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The following is a list of current National Football League franchise owners:

Terry Pegula, co-owner of the Buffalo Bills.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
Clark Hunt, chairman, CEO, and co-owner of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Zygi Wilf, majority owner of the Minnesota Vikings.
Franchise Principal owner(s) Purchase price Year
acquired
Ref.
Arizona Cardinals Michael Bidwill[a][b] $50,000 1932 [1]
Atlanta Falcons Arthur Blank[c][d] $545,000,000 2002 [2]
Baltimore Ravens Steve Bisciotti[c][d] $300,000,000
& $600,000,000
2000
& 2004
[3]
Buffalo Bills Kim & Terry Pegula $1,400,000,000 2014 [4]
Carolina Panthers David Tepper $2,275,000,000 2018 [5]
Chicago Bears Virginia Halas McCaskey[c][a][e] $100 1920 [6]
Cincinnati Bengals Mike Brown[a][e] >$200,000,000 1968
& 2011
[7][8]
Cleveland Browns Jimmy & Dee Haslam $1,050,000,000 2012 [9][10]
Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones $140,000,000 1989 [11]
Denver Broncos Rob Walton $4,650,000,000 2022 [12][13]
Detroit Lions Sheila Ford Hamp[c][a] $4,500,000 1963 [14]

[15][16]

Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers, Inc.[f] 1923
Houston Texans Janice McNair & family[c][a][e] $700,000,000 1999 [17]
Indianapolis Colts Jim Irsay[a] $19,000,000 1972 [18]
Jacksonville Jaguars Shahid Khan $760,000,000 2012 [19]
Kansas City Chiefs Clark Hunt & siblings and Norma Hunt[a][e] $25,000 1960 [20]
Las Vegas Raiders Carol & Mark Davis (mother & son)[c][a] 2011
Los Angeles Chargers Dean Spanos[a] >$72,000,000 1984 [21][22][23]
Los Angeles Rams Stan Kroenke[d] $80,000,000
& $450,000,000
1995
& 2010
[24]
Miami Dolphins Stephen M. Ross[c] $1,000,000,000 2008 [25]
Minnesota Vikings Zygi Wilf[c] $600,000,000 2005 [26]
New England Patriots Robert Kraft $175,000,000 1994 [27]
New Orleans Saints Gayle Benson[a] $64,000,000 1985 [28]
New York Giants John Mara[a] (50%)[g]
Steve Tisch (50%)
$500 1925 [29]
New York Jets Robert Wood Johnson IV[h] and Christopher Wold Johnson[a] $635,000,000 2000 [30]
Philadelphia Eagles Jeffrey Lurie $185,000,000 1994 [31]
Pittsburgh Steelers Art Rooney II (60%)[a][d][g] & family (12%)[a][d][e][g] $2,500 1933 [32]
San Francisco 49ers Denise DeBartolo York & Jed York[a][d] $17,000,000 1977 [33]
Seattle Seahawks Jody Allen, trustee[a][b] $200,000,000 1997 [34]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Avram Glazer, Bryan Glazer, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, Edward Glazer, Joel Glazer, & Kevin Glazer[a] $192,000,000 1995 [35]
Tennessee Titans Amy Adams Strunk[a][e] $25,000 1959 [36][37]
Washington Commanders Dan Snyder[c] $800,000,000 1999 [38]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Ownership of club has been passed on to/split by family members of previous owner (see Family ownership section below)
  2. ^ a b Currently held in trust/estate after death of previous owner:
    • Arizona Cardinals: Bill Bidwill died on October 2, 2019, and estate is not settled.
    • Kansas City Chiefs: Norma Hunt (widow of founder Lamar Hunt) and her four children share legal ownership with Clark Hunt representing the franchise at league meetings
    • Seattle Seahawks: Allen represents the estate of her deceased brother Paul Allen, who had no immediate next of kin.
    • New York Jets: Christopher Johnson is acting owner due to Robert's appointment as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
    • Tampa Bay Buccanners: Bryan Glazer represents the four co-owning siblings, including Edward Glazer, Joel Glazer and Darcie Kassewitz.
    • Tennessee Titans: Amy Strunk represents the five co-owning siblings—two sisters (Smith), and the widow of their brother (Lewis), and his sons (the Adams brothers), all the children of founding owner Bud Adams.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Majority or plurality owner, rather than outright owner.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Owner held stake prior to this date.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Child/heir of original owner of franchise.
  6. ^ Public corporation with a grandfathered exception to current NFL ownership rules. The team is governed by a Board of Directors, and Mark H. Murphy represents the team as President and CEO.
  7. ^ a b c Child/heir of heir of original owner of franchise.
  8. ^ Currently inactive.

Family ownership[edit]

Benson, Bidwill, McCaskey, Brown, Irsay, Hamp, Hunt, Mara, Davis, Rooney, Glazer, Spanos, York, and Adams-Strunk represent ownership that has been longer than the year listed in the table above, as teams have been owned by their families longer than listed:

  • Arizona Cardinals: Bidwill's father Charles originally purchased the team in 1933 when it was the Chicago Cardinals.
  • Chicago Bears: McCaskey's father George Halas founded the team, then known as Decatur Staleys, in 1919.
  • Cincinnati Bengals: Brown's father Paul founded the Bengals in 1967.
  • Detroit Lions: Hamp's father William Clay Ford Sr. took over majority control of the Lions in 1963.
  • Houston Texans: McNair's deceased husband Bob founded the team in 2002.
  • Indianapolis Colts: Irsay's father Bob took over the team in 1972.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Hunt's father Lamar founded the team in 1960.
  • Las Vegas Raiders: Carol's deceased husband and Mark's father Al Davis gained majority control of the team in 1976.
  • Los Angeles Chargers: Spanos's father Alex took over majority control in 1984.
  • New Orleans Saints: Benson's deceased husband Tom bought the team in 1985.
  • New York Giants: Mara's grandfather Tim co-founded the Giants in 1925.
  • New York Jets: Robert originally bought full control of the Jets in 2000. His brother Christopher became acting owner in 2017 after Robert became United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: Rooney's grandfather Art Rooney, Sr. founded the team in 1933.
  • San Francisco 49ers: Denise's father and Jed's grandfather Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. originally bought the team in 1977, and shortly gave it to his son and Denise's brother Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.
  • Seattle Seahawks: Allen's deceased brother Paul Allen bought the team in 1997.
  • Tampa Bay Buccanners: Glazer's father Malcolm bought the team in 1995.
  • Tennessee Titans: Amy Strunk's father Bud Adams founded the team in 1960.

Ownership restrictions[edit]

The NFL forbids corporations, religious groups, governments, and non-profit organizations owning a team.[39] The NFL requires a controlling owner to hold at minimum a 30% stake in the team and forbids ownership groups of over 24 people, or any publicly traded corporations from purchasing NFL teams; one team, the Green Bay Packers, is exempt from this under a grandfather clause and is owned by shareholders. The Houston Texans are also grandfathered in for their home county–the Harris County, Texas government–which owns 5% of the team, as the rule forbidding governments from owning a team became effective in 2007. The NFL's constitution also forbids its owners from owning any other professional football teams, although an exception was made for teams from the now-defunct Arena Football League located in the NFL team's home market. In addition, the controlling owners of NFL teams were previously only permitted to own major league baseball, basketball and hockey teams if they were in the NFL team's home market, or were not located in other NFL cities.[40] (Stan Kroenke, who owned hockey and basketball teams in Denver, was nonetheless unanimously allowed to buy the then-St. Louis Rams in 2010 and hold on to his Denver assets until 2015. Even then, the Denver assets were transferred to his wife, Ann.)[41] Soccer has been exempt from these restrictions since 1982, when the league lost a lawsuit filed by the original NASL stemming from the investments of Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and Elizabeth Robbie, the wife of Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie in NASL teams;[42] as a result, NFL owners have owned teams in MLS in other NFL markets. In October 2018, the NFL owners voted to relax the cross-ownership rule, allowing controlling NFL owners to own other professional teams within NFL markets outside their home market.[43] The league also informally requires prospective owners to have high liquidity in their assets and positive cash flow; having a majority of one's wealth invested in real estate, for example, is grounds for rejection.[44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Brandon (October 6, 2019). "Arizona Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill Dies". Phoenix Business Journal.
  2. ^ Starrs, Chris (September 17, 2018). "Arthur Blank". New Georgia Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ S.I. Staff (n.d.). "Steve Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens". Sports Illustrated.
  4. ^ S.I. Staff (n.d.). "Kim and Terry Pegula, Buffalo Bills". Sports Illustrated.
  5. ^ Haislop, Tadd (May 22, 2018). "Who is Panthers' new owner? Fast facts about David Tepper". Sporting News.
  6. ^ S.I. Staff. "Virginia Halas McCaskey, Chicago Bears". Sports Illustrated.
  7. ^ Kirkendall, Josh (December 23, 2011). "Brown Family Completes Deal To Purchase 30% Of The Cincinnati Bengals". Cincy Jungle.
  8. ^ S.I. Staff (n.d.). "Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals". Sports Illustrated.
  9. ^ "Browns' Sale to Jimmy Haslam Done". ESPN. Associated Press. October 25, 2012.
  10. ^ Schefter, Adam (August 2, 2012). "Sources: Browns Sold for Over $1B". ESPN.
  11. ^ Roy, Reagan (February 25, 2019). "On This Day: Jerry Jones buys Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for $140M". CBS19. Tyler, Texas: KYTX-TV.
  12. ^ Around the NFL staff (August 9, 2022). "NFL owners approve Walton-Penner group's purchase of Denver Broncos franchise". NFL.com. NFL Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved August 10, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ DiLalla, Aric (August 9, 2022). "'Putting a winning team on the field is our No. 1 priority': Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group unanimously approved, introduced as new Broncos owners". DenverBroncos.com. NFL Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved August 10, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Rothstein, Michael (June 23, 2020). "Detroit Lions Owner Martha Firestone Ford, 94, Steps Down; Sheila Ford Hamp Takes Over". ESPN. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  15. ^ Risdon, Jeff (June 24, 2020). "A History of the Detroit Lions Franchise Ownership". USA Today.
  16. ^ Patra, Kevin (June 23, 2020). "Lions Owner Martha Ford Stepping Down, Will Be Succeeded by daughter". National Football League.
  17. ^ "Who is the Houston Texans' owner? History of the McNair family". ProFootballNetwork. February 19, 2021.
  18. ^ "Trading an NFL Franchise: A Brief History". Last Word on Sports. July 29, 2019.
  19. ^ Sandomir, Richard (December 1, 2011). "Jaguars Buyer Had His Eye on Ownership of a Franchise". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "Meet the Dallas billionaire responsible for the Kansas City Chiefs' resurgence". January 26, 2020.
  21. ^ Ramirez, Fernando. "Understanding The Chargers Ownership News". Sports Illustrated.
  22. ^ "Chargers co-owner asks court to force sale of team due to mounting debts exceeding $350 million, per report". CBSSports.com.
  23. ^ "Dean Spanos' sister wants him to sell Chargers in messy ownership drama". April 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Fleming: Reclusive NFL owner sparks chaos". ESPN. March 18, 2015.
  25. ^ Hoffower, Hillary; Kaplan, Juliana. "Stephen Ross — Trump donor and Equinox chairman — has reportedly already donated $1 million toward NYC's next elections. Take a look at how one of the city's richest residents built his fortune". Business Insider.
  26. ^ "Sources: Wilf family emerges as top Wolves suitor". ESPN. July 22, 2020.
  27. ^ Gaines, Cork. "Robert Kraft saved the New England Patriots with a gutsy $175 million investment and it has paid off big time". Business Insider.
  28. ^ "Blakeview: The story of Tom Benson and the New Orleans Saints". NOLA.com.
  29. ^ "New York Giants ownership at a glance". ESPN. March 18, 2015.
  30. ^ Sandomir, Richard (January 12, 2000). "The Jets Fill One Opening: New Owner at $635 Million". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Tornoe, Rob. "Jeff Lurie bought the Eagles for $185 million. They're worth a lot more today". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  32. ^ "History of Pittsburgh Steelers Sports, Inc". FundingUniverse.
  33. ^ S.I. Staff (n.d.). "Get to know the York family, the San Francisco 49ers' owners". Sports Illustrated.
  34. ^ "Council Oks Allen's Purchase Of Seahawks". The Seattle Times.
  35. ^ Maiorana, Sal. "The billionaire Glazer family who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has roots in Rochester". Democrat and Chronicle.
  36. ^ Climer, David. "With Bud Adams' death, what lies ahead for Titans?". USA Today.
  37. ^ Boclair, David. "Adams Heirs to Remain Titans Owners". Sports Illustrated.
  38. ^ Sandomir, Richard (April 27, 1999). "Washington: Redskins Are Sold For $800 Million". The New York Times.
  39. ^ "Constitution and Bylaws of the National Football League" (PDF). National Football League. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 13, 2018.
  40. ^ "Constitution and Bylaws of the National Football League" (PDF). National Football League. 2006.
  41. ^ "NFL owners let Kroenke keep Rams; transfer Nuggets, Avalanche to his wife". Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  42. ^ North American Soccer League v. National Football League, 670 F.2d 1249 (2d Cir. 1982).
  43. ^ Farmer, Sam (October 16, 2018). "NFL owners vote to allow cross-ownership in cities with football teams". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  44. ^ "Trump's failed bid to purchase Bills mentioned in Times article". WBEN. March 19, 2019. Retrieved March 19, 2019.