- Moving from the philosophical to the practical the question of how much they are worth takes on new meaning.
- That means that they need not open their books to anyone.
How Much Are the Pittsburgh Steelers Worth?
If memory serves (and if not the book is 6,000 miles away), Ed Bouchette’s 1993 book Dawn of a New Steel Age pegged the Steelers value at around 200-220 million.
My how things have changed, as Forbes recently pegged the value of the Steelers at 1.118 million dollars. This estimation puts the Steelers at at 14th just over the middle of the NFL pack in terms of market value, which is good considering that the Steelers are located in a modest market that is aging if not shrinking.
- Should Steelers Nation Care?
And so it should be.
- But its nice to know that our beloved team is nestled comfortably in the NFL’s value bell curve.
Looking deeper into the numbers, however, there are some caution flags that Steelers management, if not Steelers Nation itself should be wary of.
Theoretical market value means nothing in terms of competitiveness. Overall financial health is another question. On that measure, the Steelers are not quite as well off. Consider:
- The Steelers saw their value increase only 2% - which ranked 28th
- The Steelers debt burden came in at 18% which ranks them 13th in the league – this is one measure where lower is better
In terms of revenue, the Steelers made $266 million, ranking them only 20th in the league.
- The Baltimore Ravens, in contrast ranked 10th, raking in 292 million.
- Both the Ravens and Bengals ranked above the Steelers.
Given some of these later numbers, it is easy to see why the team not only wants to expand Heinz Field but would like the city of Pittsburgh to pay for it. (Note, Steel Curtain Rising is on record saying that the Steelers should pick up the tab for Heinz Field expansion.)
While the Steelers overall performance is in line with, and in some cases better, than teams from comparable markets, they are also being out performed in every category by the Green Bay Packers.
- And their placement among the pecking order is by no means assured.
These future developments don’t mean that the Steelers can’t and won’t have the financial health to compete the in the short and medium term future, but as a family owned franchise they’re going to need to make some wise decisions.