2014 wasn't exactly a banner year for the Washington Redskins.
Yet, despite the team's struggles on the field and an avalanche of less-than-favorable, blazing-hot takes from several corners of the media landscape, Forbes reports that the value of the Redskins franchise increased by a whopping $700 million, an impressive gain of forty-one percent in just one year.
To put that number in perspective, Dan Snyder bought the Redskins (and Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, as FedEx was known then) for $800 million in 1999, the most expensive transaction in the history of sports up to that point. The increase in value over the past year alone comes within hailing distance of equaling that number.
The Redskins are tied for ninth on the list with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Washington gained slightly more value, as a percentage, than the NFL's most valuable franchise, the Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins are the third-most valuable NFL franchise overall, behind the Cowboys and Patriots.
The Cowboys, in fact, are now tied with the Yankees as the most valuable American sports franchise. Dallas has been the top-valued NFL franchise for eight years, since wresting the crown from the Redskins after 2006. The Cowboys and Redskins are also the only American franchises in the top ten that aren't New-York- or LA-based, or coming off of a championship season.
The complete top ten, with total value and change (in percentage) since the previous list:
1. Real Madrid (European Soccer) - $3.26 billion, -5%
2t. Dallas Cowboys (NFL) - $3.2 billion, +39%
2t. New York Yankees (MLB) - $3.2 billion, +28%
4. FC Barcelona (European Soccer) - $3.16 billion, -1%
5. Manchester United (European Soccer) - $3.10 billion, +10%
6t. Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) - $2.6 billion, +93%
6t. New England Patriots (NFL) - $2.6 billion, +44%
8. New York Knicks (NBA) - $2.5 billion, +79%
9t. Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) - $2.4 billion, +20%
9t. Washington Redskins (NFL) - $2.4 billion, +41%