Most Popular NFL Football Teams
Who has the best fans and largest fan base.....which means the most valuable. NFL Football is the most popular sport in the US. Take a look and provide your thoughts.
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The San Francisco 49ers (often referred to as the Niners) are a professional American football team. The team plays its home games in San Francisco, California, while the club's headquarters and practice facility are located in Santa Clara. The 49ers are currently a member of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
The Bears have one of the best stadium deals in the NFL. The team pays $5.7 million a season in rent and gets all football-related revenue at Soldier Field. A big plus for the Bears: $35 million a season from premium seating. The Bears also have one of the leanest operations in the NFL, a tradition that started with the team's founder, George Halas. As a result, the team should still make a fortune this season despite not increasing ticket prices.
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The team plays its home games at Giants Stadium, which also serves as its headquarters, and trains at an adjacent practice facility within the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The team has also gained several nicknames, including "Big Blue," the "G-Men," the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew," "The Road Warriors," and the "Jints," a name seen frequently in the New York Post, originating from the baseball team when they were based in New York.
The Panthers, who have never posted back-to-back winning seasons and are looking to reach their second Super Bowl with the core of last year's 12-win team, bet the ranch on QB Jake Delhomme and LB Julius Peppers when they signed them to rich contracts prior to the 2009 season. Delhomme, who signed a five-year contract extension, has $20 million guaranteed, while Peppers, who could not reach a long-term deal with the Panthers, will cost the franchise $16.7 million this season. It is a big gamble for the Panthers as the team is maxed out against the NFL's $127 million salary cap and Delhomme, who blew last season's NFC playoff loss to the Cardinals, is now 34.
The Redskins once again made the biggest splash in free agency this year when they gave defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth a seven-year, $100 million contract, the richest contract ever for a defensive player. Owner Dan Snyder is able to lavish massive signing bonuses on free agents because his team's cash flow is better than anyone else. The 'Skins operating income has averaged $77 million over the past five years, tops in the NFL. Credit FedEx Field which has 10,000 more seats than any other stadium and Snyder who has dramatically increased sponsorship revenues. The wealthy D.C.-market also allows Snyder to keep ticket prices high. The average price of $140 including club seats is second only to the Patriots. Yet FedEx Field holds 23,000 more people than the Patriots' home. The Redskins averaged 88,604 per home game last year, the highest in the NFL.
The Patriots continue to be one of the most profitable and innovative franchises off-the-field. The latest example came in May 2009 when the Pats became the first team to sign a licensing agreement with a state lottery, one day after the NFL granted teams the rights to cut deals. The Patriots logo will appear on instant scratch off tickets starting with the 2009 season.
In part because of their 2001 Super Bowl win over the Giants, Ravens season tickets remain a hot commodity 13 years after moving from Cleveland. If you had bought a personal seat license for the Ravens when they moved into PSINet Stadium (now M&T Bank Stadium) in 1998 you have, on average, seen a 300% increase in your investment. Now is a good time to buy: Because of the recession the average price of a Raven PSL fell from $4,200 in 2008 to $3,400 this season.
The Browns have been smacked by the bad economy. The team fired a big chunk of its administrative staff early this year and despite having a waiting list for season tickets decided not to raise prices, which range from $32 to $85. The team is counting on former Jet head coach Eric Mangini to turn things around on the field for the Browns who won only four games last year after posting ten wins in 2007. Mangini, who compiled a record of 23-25 for Gang Green the past three years, was given a four-year contract in January.
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings compete in the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Prior to divisional realignment in 2002, they had been a member of the Central Division, also known as the Black & Blue Division. The Vikings have been one of the most successful NFL franchises. The Vikings have the 2nd highest winning percentage of any NFL team. The Vikings have won one NFL championship (pre-1970 AFL-NFL Merger), but subsequently lost 23–7 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. The Vikings were the first team to play in four Super Bowls, though losing them. The Vikings have won their division 18 times, third most among teams currently playing in the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, joined the NFL in 1976 as expansion teams. Seattle is the only team to have played in both the AFC (American Football Conference) and NFC Championship Games. The Seahawks have one Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl XL, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 10–21. The Seahawks have agreed to a five-year deal with USC head coach Pete Carroll to replace Jim Mora as their next head coach.
The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team in the NFL based in the city of Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Raiders began play in 1960 as the eighth charter member of the American Football League (AFL), where they won one championship and three division titles. The team joined the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL–NFL merger. Since joining the NFL, the Raiders have won twelve division titles and three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII), and have appeared in two other Super Bowls. Thirteen former players have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
During their first three seasons, the Raiders struggled both on and off the field. In 1963, Al Davis was brought to the team as head coach and general manager, and from 1963 until 2002 the team had only seven losing seasons. He also initiated the use of team slogans such as "Pride and Poise," "Commitment to Excellence," and "Just Win, Baby"—all of which are registered trademarks. Except for a brief term as AFL Commissioner in 1966, Davis has been with the team continuously. Upon his return to Oakland in 1966, he became a managing partner of the franchise.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team located in Jacksonville, Florida. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Jaguars, along with the Carolina Panthers, joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1995.
The club has played all of its home games at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The stadium is located near the St. Johns River. The team headquarters is also located in the stadium. The Jaguars practice during the season and training camp in the stadium and on adjoining practice fields.
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints play in the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
The Saints were founded in 1967 as an expansion team. They went more than a decade before they managed to finish a season with a .500 record, and two decades before having a winning season. The team's first successful years were from 1987–1992, when the team made the playoffs four times and had winning records in the non-playoff seasons. In the 2000 season, the Saints defeated the then-defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams for the team's first playoff win.
Eagle fans were calling for the heads of long-time head coach Andy Reid and QB Donovan McNabb as the team stumbled through the 2008 season. But the team rebounded by beating Dallas in the final game of the year to make the playoffs and then made a run to the NFC Championship before bowing out to the Arizona Cardinals. Despite their regular booing at Lincoln Financial Field, Eagles fans remain a loyal bunch to the team with season ticket renewal rates at 99.7% in recent years. In June the team and the city of Philadelphia settled two long-running disputes from the Eagles days at since-demolished Veterans Stadium. The team agreed to pay $8 million from luxury suite revenues owed dating back to the 1990s, while the city coughed up $5 million for a 2001 preseason game with the Ravens that had to be canceled because of the notoriously lousy turf at the Vet.
The San Diego Chargers, also sometimes called the Bolts or Super Chargers, are an American professional football team based in San Diego, California. They are currently members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The club began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. The club spent its first season in Los Angeles, California before moving to San Diego in 1961. The Chargers play their home games at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Cowboys new stadium is a gold mine this season. The team has sold most of the premium seating and sponsorships to their new stadium. Annual revenue from the stadium will be around $350 million, before debt payments. During the next couple of years Cowboys will be hosting an NBA All-Star game, NCAA Men's basketball Final Four and a Super Bowl. Look for team owner Jerry Jones to wait for the economy to improve before selling the stadium's naming rights for a record amount for a football team.
Clark Hunt, Chairman of the Board for the Chiefs, made huge personnel changes prior to the 2009 season by bringing in winners from New England and Arizona. Clark, the son of former Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, hired New England Patriots VP of Player Personnel and architect of the Patriots' championship teams, Scott Pioli, to run the football operations. He then traded for Patriots QB Matt Cassel and signed him to a six-year, $63 million contract. The Chiefs also brought in former Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley to be their head coach, replacing the over-matched Herm Edwards. The $375 million of renovations to Arrowhead Stadium are about 70% complete heading into the 2009 season.
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American Football team based in Tempe, Arizona. They play their home games in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals are members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Cardinals were founded in 1898, and are the oldest continuously run professional American football club in the United States.
The team was established in Chicago in 1898 and was a charter member of the NFL in 1920. Along with the Chicago Bears, the club is one of two franchises still in operation since the league's founding. The club moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1960 and played in that city through 1987 (sometimes referred to as the "football Cardinals" to avoid confusion with the baseball St. Louis Cardinals). Before the 1988 NFL season, the team moved to Tempe, Arizona, an eastern suburb of Phoenix, and played their home games for the next 18 years at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium. In 2006 the club began playing all home games at the newly constructed University of Phoenix Stadium in the northwestern suburb of Glendale.
The Jets spent $75 million building the most modern practice facility in the NFL prior to the season. But new head coach Rex Ryan decided the team should be isolated in upstate New York for preseason camp. The fact that owner Woody Johnson let Ryan keep the team in Cortland prior to the start of the season shows how much confidence he has in his new coach—and how badly Johnson wants to win. When he bought the team in 2000 for $635 million, Johnson said the franchise needed to be great in three areas: stadium, practice facility and team. With the new stadium opening next season he definitely has two of his pillars. New QB and first round pick Mark Sanchez, whom the team hopes has some of Broadway Joe's marketability, will ultimately determine how fast the third pillar is built.
Market size does not matter that much in the NFL, but your market does. The Texans have never been to the playoffs and have never won more than eight games in a season. Yet this year the team increased its average ticket price 3.7%, to $67.37. The Texans had the nerve to boost ticket prices because the Houston economy is much stronger than most NFL cities and the team's average ticket price will still be a few dollars lower than the league average. The Texans celebrated their 70th consecutive sellout at Reliant Stadium against the Bears in the last game of the 2008 season. The team's $300 million stadium naming rights deal with Reliant is the richest in the NFL.
The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the metropolitan area of Buffalo, New York. They play their home games in the suburb of Orchard Park, and beginning in 2008, one home game is played in Toronto. They are members of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Bills began competitive play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL merger.
The Bills won two consecutive American Football League titles in 1964 and 1965, but the club has not won a league championship since the merger. Buffalo is also the only team to win four consecutive American Football Conference Championships, and lost all four Super Bowls. Since the NFL's expansion to 32 teams in 2002 the Bills are the only AFC non-expansion team to not make the playoffs.
The Buccaneers once boasted of having a season ticket waiting list of over 100,000 names. Those days are over. This year season tickets were available to anyone for the first time in almost a decade. Blame the recession and high prices in a small market. The average ticket price including club seats last season was $120, only the Patriots and Redskins charged more. To drum up business the team held a select-a-seat ticket drive in May where fans could tour the stadium and try out different seats that were available. Another carrot for potential buyers is a payment plan that stretches over five months. Team owner Malcolm Glazer among thriftiest in the league with a player payroll that has ranked in the bottom half of the league each of the past five seasons.
One of the league's most stable franchises has been under siege in 2009. After 14 seasons as head coach, Mike Shanahan was fired after the 2008 season. Shanahan was the NFL's most powerful coach as he doubled as the team's general manager, but three straight seasons out of the playoffs were too much for owner Pat Bowlen. The Broncos have won only one playoff game since John Elway retired in 1999. New coach Josh McDaniels quickly butted heads with Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler before Cutler was jettisoned to Chicago in a trade. The Broncos have sold out general seating at Invesco Field since it opened in 2001, but has struggled to sell out the luxury suite and club seat inventory.
The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
The club was officially founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1953, but can trace its history to the Dayton Triangles, a founding member of the NFL that was originally created in 1913. After a series of changes, it assumed the "Baltimore Colts" name, replacing a previous team that folded in 1950. Playing at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, the Colts became the first NFL team to have cheerleaders. The team then relocated to Indianapolis in 1984, first playing at the RCA Dome before moving to Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008.
The Miami Dolphins are a professional football team based in the Miami, Florida metropolitan area. They play home games at Dolphin Stadium, in the suburb of Miami Gardens. They are headquartered at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility in Davie, Florida. The Dolphins belong to the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Dolphins were founded by Joseph Robbie, and began play in the American Football League as an expansion team in 1966, an example of that seminal league's expanding the sport to areas that were not then represented. Miami joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL merger. The Dolphins are the oldest continuous major-league professional sports franchise in the state of Florida. (The first Florida sports franchise was the Miami Seahawks of the AAFC in 1946.)
The Atlanta Falcons are an American professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are currently a member of the NFC South division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Falcons joined the NFL in 1965 as an expansion team, after the NFL offered then-owner Rankin Smith a franchise to keep him from joining the rival American Football League. The AFL instead granted a franchise to Miami. In their 43 years of existence, the Falcons have compiled a record of 275–400–6 with division championships in 1980, 1998 and 2004. They have one Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999.
The St. Louis Rams are a professional American football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team has won three NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl.
The team then became known as the Los Angeles Rams after the club moved to Los Angeles, California in 1946, opting not to compete with Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference. Following the 1979 season, the Rams moved south to the suburbs in nearby Orange County, playing their home games at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim for fifteen seasons (1980–94), keeping the Los Angeles name. The club moved east to St. Louis prior to the 1995 season.
The Detroit Lions are an American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and play their home games at Ford Field in downtown Detroit.
Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and called the Portsmouth Spartans, the team began play in 1929 as an independent professional team, one of many such teams in the Ohio and Scioto River valleys. For the 1930 season, the Spartans formally joined the National Football League (NFL) as the other area independents folded because of the Great Depression. Despite success within the NFL, they could not survive in Portsmouth, then the NFL's smallest city. The team was purchased and moved to Detroit for the 1934 season.
The Lions have won four NFL Championships, the last in 1957, giving the club the second-longest NFL championship drought behind the Arizona Cardinals, who last won in 1947 (as the Chicago Cardinals). The Lions have yet to qualify for the Super Bowl. The team has qualified for the playoffs only nine times in the more than 50 years since winning the 1957 championship and has won only one playoff game in that span.
The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Their first two seasons, 1968 and 1969, were as an American Football League franchise. They joined the NFL as part of the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger, which had actually been agreed upon in 1966.
The Bengals are the current AFC North Division Champions.
The Bengals currently conduct summer training camp at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky and play home games at Paul Brown Stadium in Downtown Cincinnati.
The Tennessee Titans are a U.S. professional American football team based in Nashville. The team plays at LP Field in Nashville. The team's training facility is at Baptist Sports Park, a 31-acre site at the MetroCenter complex, located just north of downtown Nashville about 5 miles (8.0 km) from LP Field. They are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Previously known as the Houston Oilers, the team began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. The Oilers won the first two AFL championships, before joining the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger.
The team relocated from Houston, Texas to the state of Tennessee in 1997, first playing in Memphis for one season before moving to Nashville. For two seasons, the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers before changing its name to Titans in 1999.