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Sports Franchise Price Tags Going Up

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Recently pro sports teams have sold for dramatically more than estimated by Forbes Magazine. Kurt Badenhausen of the magazine says different circumstances lead to different sales.

"Professional sports franchises in the major four sports leagues don't come up for sale very often, so sometimes people intent on getting in will pay more than the franchise is necessarily worth," says Badenhausen. One such example is the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, which sold for $550 million. "From everyone we've talked to, that bid was dramatically more than any other bid, but these guys wanted the team," cites Badenhausen, and new owners were looking for assurances toward building a new arena, which could affect the value of the team.

The impending sale of the Buffalo Bills is not imminent, but Forbes estimated the team's value at $870 million last summer. "I think it's fair to say it could reach $1 billion, depends on the timing of the sale," says Badenhausen. He says only the sale of the Miami Dolphins in 2008 hit the ten figure mark in the NFL, with the Cleveland Browns sale being valued at $987 million because future money put up toward the sale was discounted.

"We haven't seen a premium franchise sell since the Jets in 2000, when a top 10, top 15 franchise was sold," notes Badenhausen. He says the from the time the deal is announced to the team changing hands could take nine months as the NFL will vet any prospective owner carefully.

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