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Broncos remain 11th-most-valuable NFL team on Forbes list

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Even though they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and continue their search for a new naming-rights deal on their home stadium, Forbes magazine says 2016 was still a very good year for the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos, who finished 9-7 last season following their Super Bowl victory to close out the 2015 season, were placed 24th overall in Forbes’ worldwide top 50 most valuable sports franchises. Forbes placed the current value of the Broncos at $2.4 billion, 11th among NFL teams. The Dallas Cowboys topped the overall list at $4.2 billion.

The Broncos remained in the same spot in Forbes’ rankings both with Peyton Manning playing quarterback for the team and in Manning’s first post-retirement season. The team was ranked 11th among NFL teams in 2016 and 2015.

Business is certainly good for the NFL overall, as 29 of the league’s teams were among the 50 most valuable franchises worldwide; only the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills didn’t make the top 50.

Forbes uses several categories in estimating revenues for each franchise -- including network-television money as well as stadium deals -- and debts. As a result, many NFL teams, including the Broncos, have publicly disputed some of the magazine’s methodology in the past.

The Green Bay Packers are the league’s only publicly owned team, making them the only franchise that releases an annual financial report. The Packers also did that Wednesday, providing a glimpse into team revenues other franchises do not have to reveal.

In their report for the last fiscal year, which ended March 30, the Packers said their “national" revenue was $244 million. That total, which is largely network television money, is the same for all of the league’s 32 teams, including the Broncos.

That total does not include local revenue for teams, such as stadium revenues, including stadium naming rights.

Each NFL team was, according to the Packers’ financial report, set to also receive $27.1 million in net revenues ($55.2 million in gross revenues for each team) as a result of relocation fees from the Chargers, Rams and Raiders combined. The first relocation payments to the other NFL teams, including the Broncos, will be received in December 2019, according to Packers president Mark Murphy. The Rams and Chargers, now both in Los Angeles, will pay out their relocation fees over a 10-year period starting in 2019, while the Raiders will pay theirs out over a 10-year period beginning once the franchise has moved operations to Las Vegas.

Overall, the Broncos have a significant missing component in their revenues without a new stadium naming-rights deal. Team president and CEO Joe Ellis has consistently expressed confidence the team is nearing an agreement.

After Sports Authority’s bankruptcy, the Broncos bought out the final five years of the naming-rights deal with the company. Since then, Ellis has said the team continues to seek “the right partner, the best for us and the community."