Forbes has released its annual NFL team valuations, and the Buffalo Bills have experienced a precipitous fall from 2009 to 2010. NFL values fell in general, thanks to economic concerns and the possibility of a 2011 lockout.
Last year, the Bills were valued at $909 million, good for No. 26 in the NFL, and $112 million more than the lowest-valued team, the Oakland Raiders. This year, Buffalo slipped to No. 28 overall, sliding all the way down to $799 million in valuation - only $74 million more than this year's lowest-valued team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Buffalo's -12% one-year value change was the third-worst figure in the league behind Jacksonville and St. Louis, and the $93 million valuation of Ralph Wilson Stadium landed them in the bottom quarter of the league, as well. The team's operating income fell to $28.2 million from last year's figure of $39.5 million. Total revenue increased, but only incrementally ($222 million to $228 million); debt/value ratio increased as well (14% to 16%).
"The Buffalo Bills have deteriorated markedly since the glory years in the 1990s when they were led by coach Marv Levy and quarterback Jim Kelly," writes Forbes. "Incredibly, the team, which had the lowest ticket prices in the NFL in 2009, saw fit to increase ticket prices for the 2010 season by $10 a game for season ticket holders along the sidelines in the lower bowl of Ralph Wilson Stadium, and the team's average ticket price will go up to $59 from $51."
Buffalo also pulled in just $45 million in gate receipts - a figure that includes club seat sales - placing them in the bottom quarter of the league, as well.