Apr 27, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix and first round pick cornerback Stephon Gilmore and head coach Chan Gailey hold a jersey during the press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
For a second straight year, Forbes has valued the Buffalo Bills at $792 million - and for a second straight year, that's the fourth-lowest Forbes valuation in the NFL, placing them ahead of just the St. Louis Rams ($775 million), Oakland Raiders ($761 million) and Jacksonville Jaguars ($725 million). The value is good enough to make the Bills the 42nd-most valuable sports franchise on the planet.
With no loss in value from year to year, the Bills stopped a two-year slip in valuation in which they dropped to $792 million from $799 million in 2010, and to $799 million from $909 million in 2009. An impending lockout seemingly contributed to the very steep drop prior to the 2010 season, and the Bills - among other teams - have yet to gain in value since that point in time. That may change when a new television deal between the NFL and various networks kicks into gear in 2014.
This news comes at a time when the Bills are trying to nail down an agreement for a lease extension for Ralph Wilson Stadium with Erie County, with local officials seeking a $100-plus million lease buyout option in the event that the team is sold and relocates. Using this valuation, any prospective owner looking to relocate the team would essentially be paying 113 percent of the cost of the franchise to move it to a different city - and that's if the team sells prior to 2014, when the aforementioned new TV deals are sure to drive these valuations up across the board.