There are 38 teams in the National Football League, spread out over just 22 of the 50 states in the U.S. Wyoming is one of the 28 states that doesn’t have a pro-football team to our name. Have you ever wondered why?
Now, if I had to make a wager, I think one factor is most likely preventing a Wyoming NFL expansion. I’ll give you a hint: It’s green, has presidential faces, and doesn’t grow on trees.
You guessed it! I’d bet that Wyoming doesn’t have an NFL team because of money…or rather, the lack thereof. Before we get started, let me reiterate…I’m not an expert in economics or football, but there’s a pretty glaring roadblock ahead in regards to a Wyoming NFL team. Let me explain.
Running an NFL Team is Expensive
According to BleacherReport.com, the Greenbay Packers reported its annual expenses rose from “$376.1 million to $420.9 million.” The Packers are the only team required to reveal their costs because they are publicly owned. (No wonder Wisconsin loves the Packers so much…fans can actually buy into an ownership stake without being a millionaire.) Considering Green Bay is worth about $4.6 billion and ranks only 20th for the most valuable NFL Team, one can only imagine what it costs to run a team like the Dallas Cowboys, which comes with a $9 billion price tag in 2023.
Most NFL teams have private owners or multiple investors that fund the team. Additionally, a massive array of sponsorships, ticket and concession prices, and media help pay the bills. Setting up a team in Wyoming would require all of those factors put in place to make money – otherwise, paying for players and a stadium are out of the question.
The Average Cost of an NFL Stadium is Mind-Blowing…Could Wyoming Afford It?
For a long time, NFL Stadiums received considerable funding from the public via taxes and government funding. According to USA Today, the Buffalo Bills received over $1 billion in taxpayer money to build their new stadium in 2022. Considering Wyoming doesn’t have a state tax system, there wouldn’t be a way to allocate that money…nor would our population sustain such donations – Buffalo, NY alone boasts half the people than the state of Wyoming.
And, for that matter, would Wyomingites even want to foot the bill? We’re not precisely “pro taxes” here in the Cowboy State. And believe me, the sticker shock of building and operating an NFL stadium would not help. The newest stadiums in the NFL, SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium, pulled a sticker price of $5.5 billion and $1.9 billion to build, respectively. By comparison, Wyoming’s annual income in Fiscal Year 2021 was $9.8 billion – meaning a top-of-the-line stadium could cut that by half!
To top it off, to join the NFL, a state must
Do NFL Teams Out-Price Wyoming Means?
It would take quite a few wealthy investors (like the Waltons of Walmart and maybe a few Kardashians,) …plus a plan on how to make money, fund players, and keep the stadium operating, before the Cowboy State could consider entering the NFL.
On top of the hefty price tag, there would also be the matter of recruiting players, employees, etc., for the team.
So, is an NFL team ever in Wyoming’s future? Maybe, but not until financial stars align to fund such an endeavor. Until then, Wyomingites will have to root for another NFL team – whether it’s the Broncos, the Bills, or another team of choice.
Can you think of other reasons the Cowboy State isn’t ready to host an NFL team of our own? Share them with us!