Power Players

Jeff Bezos can afford to buy every team in the NFL—with enough left over for every NYC sports team

Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images

Jeff Bezos can buy pretty much anything he wants. So people tend to take notice when the world's richest person is reportedly thinking about making a big purchase.

CBS Sports reported on Nov. 10 that Bezos is interested in buying an NFL team, and that he's spent "considerable time" with NFL owners such as Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins. And The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, also reported in November  that the billionaire has privately expressed an interest in buying the Seattle Seahawks.

And, on Dec. 12, Detroit-based sportscaster Eli Zaret reported in a podcast that Bezos has also been rumored to have held two separate meetings with the owners of the Detroit Lions about potentially buying that franchise, which is currently owned by Martha Firestone Ford.

But if Bezos truly is interested in becoming an owner, his world-leading estimated net worth of $109.5 billion is enough to buy every single team in the NFL — and then some.

The total value of each of the 32 NFL franchises, based on Forbes' latest ranking of every team's estimated values, is nearly $91.4 billion.

That includes the league's most valuable team, the Dallas Cowboys at $5.5 billion, according to Forbes, which also valued the Redskins at $3.4 billion and the Seahawks at about $2.78 billion.

Exclusive: See inside Jeff Bezos' $80 million NYC mega-home
Exclusive: See inside Jeff Bezos' $80 million NYC mega-home

That would leave Bezos $18 billion, meaning he could also afford to buy every other major New York City sports team, which together are valued at $14.8 billion.

That would include the MLB's New York Yankees (worth an estimated $4.6 billion, according to Forbes) and New York Mets ($2.3 billion), the NBA's New York Knicks ($4 billion) and Brooklyn Nets ($2.35 billion), as well as the NHL's New York Rangers ($1.55 billion). The price does not include the New York Giants and New York Jets, which are both already included in the NFL franchises sum.

Of course, in order to pull off such a massive spate of sports deals, the Amazon CEO would have to liquidate his many assets, including his multimillion-dollar homes and other investments.

Bezos would also need to sell most of his shares in the tech giant he founded, as the bulk of Bezos' wealth stems from his more than 57.6 million shares of Amazon stock (a number that was closer to 80 million shares before Bezos transferred nearly 20 million shares to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, as part of their divorce settlement in August).

And while it may be extremely unlikely that Bezos would ever trade his massive portfolio of assets for the bragging rights associated with owning every NFL team, plus every other major New York City sports team (it's also unlikely all of the team owners would be willing to sell), it still goes to show just how absurdly wealthy Bezos is that he could technically pull of that feat and still have more than $3 billion left for a rainy day.

Bezos isn't even the only billionaire with a large enough net worth to buy every single NFL team: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (with a net worth of $107.3 billion) and French fashion mogul Bernard Arnault ($106.8 billion), the second- and third-wealthiest people in the world, can afford it too.

Though Bezos has not publicly commented on whether or not he's genuinely looking to buy his way into the NFL (and Amazon has so far declined to comment), the billionaire has been floated before as a potential buyer for the Seahawks. Paul Allen, the billionaire who co-founded Microsoft with Gates, was the Seahawks' owner until his death in 2018 (the team is now officially owned by Allen's trust and run by his sister, Jody).

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed interest in another tech billionaire like Bezos buying the Seahawks last year, telling Sports Illustrated: "I'd carry him piggyback to get him to the NFL." Meanwhile, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the Post that he'd welcome Bezos as an NFL owner in Seattle (anyone buying an NFL team needs to be approved by at least 24 of 32 existing NFL owners).

"I'm sure that eventually it would be in everyone's best interests if someone that's as community-oriented as him gets involved in the Seattle situation," Kraft said, as Amazon is headquartered in Seattle and Bezos owns a $25 million home in nearby Medina, Washington.

As for the Redskins, Amazon is also building a second headquarters outside of Washington, D.C., where Bezos also has a $23 million mansion.

If Bezos decides to buy a team, it would make him the NFL's wealthiest owner (obviously), surpassing Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and his $12 billion fortune.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect recent reports that Bezos is rumored to have held talks about buying the Detroit Lions.

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