The Indianapolis Colts cut quarterback Peyton Manning last week. While Colts fans will calibrate Manning by his prodigious passing statistics, record four NFL MVP awards, two Super Bowl appearances (winning the title in 2006), and selfless charity work in Indianapolis, team owner Jim Irsay should thank Manning for increasing the value of the Colts by $233 million. How do we know this?
When Manning was drafted by the Colts in 1998 the team was worth $227 million, last among the league's 30 teams and $47 million below the NFL median team value. The Colts are currently worth $1.1 billion, 11th among the league's 32 teams and $64 million above the NFL median. While the typical NFL team increased 263 percent in value during Manning's 14 years at Indianapolis, the value of the Colts rose 366 percent.
Had the value of the Colts gone up by the league median, the team would now be worth $824 million, or $233 million less than its current value. The big driver of the team's increase in value was Lucus Oil Stadium, which opened for the 2008 season. The team's revenue rose $32 million during its first year at the stadium mainly due to more money from premium seating and concessions.
The Colts only paid $100 million towards the $719 million construction cost of Lucus Oil Stadium, with the city of Indianapolis, county and state paying the remainder. The stadium doesn't get built without taxpayers agreeing to foot the vast majority of the bill.
But Manning was the reason why the public agreed to build the Colts a new home. The future Hall of Fame quarterback was also the reason why sponsors came and corporations leased the suites at the stadium.
Not only was Manning responsible for a lot of the team's glory on the field. But he created $233 million in value for Irsay and the Colts.
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