The National Football League, or NFL, is one of the most popular and profitable sports leagues in the world. But who exactly owns the NFL? In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of NFL ownership, the formation of the league, and the individuals and entities behind its teams.
The Formation of the NFL
To understand NFL ownership, we must first look at the league’s origins. The NFL was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA). Over the years, it evolved into the NFL we know today. But how did it all begin?
Birth of the APFA
The APFA was formed in Canton, Ohio, on August 20, 1920, during a meeting at Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile dealership. It initially consisted of ten teams, including iconic franchises like the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
The Franchise Model
The NFL operates on a franchise model, which means individual teams are privately owned entities that collectively form the league. This model has been crucial to the NFL’s success.
Benefits of the Franchise Model
The franchise model allows for localized ownership and engagement with fans, making it unique among major sports leagues.
Ownership Structure of NFL Teams
So, who owns these NFL franchises, and what does ownership entail?
Sole Ownership vs. Partnership
Some teams are solely owned by individuals or families, while others are owned by partnerships and corporations.
Major Team Owners
Let’s take a closer look at some of the notable NFL team owners who have made a significant impact on the league.
Jerry Jones – The Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones is known for his hands-on approach to team ownership and his role in the success of the Dallas Cowboys.
Robert Kraft – The New England Patriots
Robert Kraft’s ownership of the New England Patriots has seen the team achieve unprecedented success.
The Role of Commissioners
The NFL is overseen by a commissioner who serves as the league’s chief executive officer. How does the commissioner influence the league and its owners?
Roger Goodell – The Current Commissioner
Roger Goodell has been the NFL’s commissioner since 2006 and has been a central figure in shaping the league’s policies and direction.
Revenue Sharing in the NFL
One of the key aspects of NFL ownership is revenue sharing. How does it work, and why is it crucial for the league’s stability?
The Importance of Revenue Sharing
Revenue sharing ensures that even smaller-market teams can remain competitive and financially viable.
Ownership Changes and Transfers
Ownership of NFL teams can change hands through various means, including sales and inheritance. What are the processes involved?
Sales and Transfers
When a team changes hands, it often involves a meticulous vetting process and approval from other team owners.
In some cases, teams decide to relocate to different cities. What factors lead to these moves, and how do they impact the league?
The Controversy of Team Relocation
Team relocations can be contentious, as they involve issues of fan loyalty and economic impact.
In conclusion, the NFL is a complex organization with a diverse group of owners who play a pivotal role in the league’s success and direction.
1: Can anyone buy an NFL team?
No, ownership of an NFL team typically requires approval from existing team owners and adherence to league rules.
2. Do NFL team owners make a profit?
Yes, NFL teams can be highly profitable, thanks to revenue from sources like television deals, merchandise, and ticket sales.
3: Are there any female NFL team owners?
Yes, there are female NFL team owners, such as Kim Pegula, who co-owns the Buffalo Bills.
4: Can an NFL team move to a different country?
While it’s rare, NFL teams can relocate to different cities within the United States, but moving to another country would be a significant undertaking.
5: Are NFL team owners involved in player decisions?
Owners have a say in overarching team decisions, but player-related matters are typically handled by coaches and general managers.