According to a recent article by Forbes, the Chicago Bears are worth $5.8 billion, which makes the franchise the fifth most valuable in the NFL. Numbers one through four are the Dallas Cowboys ($8 B), New England Patriots ($6.4 B), Los Angeles Rams ($6.2 B), and the New York Giants ($6 B).
The Bears have shown tremendous growth at a time when they haven't had much success, nor do they have the luxury of being in a state-of-the-art stadium.
However, the franchise has a very positive outlook for its future bottom line.
“The Bears are the lone NFL team in the country’s third-largest market, a big attraction for a wealthy buyer looking to break into the league,” writes Forbes. “In addition, the Bears are moving toward getting either a new stadium in suburban Arlington Heights or a renovation of Soldier Field. Both scenarios would add a lot of money to the team’s coffers.”
A move to the suburbs seems the most likely outcome for the Bears, and the village of Arlington Heights appears to favor the move. In a recent poll, 72% of their residents are ready for the Navy and Orange to come to town, although 68% of those polled do not want their tax dollars going towards the project.
As for a “wealthy buyer looking to break into the league,” I can’t imagine the McCaskey family ever selling to someone outside the current ownership, which includes Aon Corp’s Pat Ryan and Andrew J. McKenna.