Cowboys, Redskins are NFL's two most valuable teams

NEW YORK -- The New York Giants and New York Jets had the biggest increase in value in Forbes Magazine's annual ranking of NFL franchises, each jumping 21 percent because of their new stadium.

And the stadium where they'll both play isn't scheduled to open until the 2010 season.

The Giants moved from eighth to fourth in the rankings released Wednesday, valued at $1.178 billion, behind Dallas ($1.612 billion), Washington ($1.538 billion) and New England ($1.324 billion), the perennial leaders. The Jets are right behind them in fifth with a value of $1.178 billion.

Indianapolis made the biggest jump in the rankings, going from 21st to eighth because their new stadium is opening this year. The Colts are valued at $1.076 billion.

The magazine also found that for the first time in any sport, team values averaged $1 billion. Ten years ago, when it first started keeping track, the average value of an NFL team was $288 million.

Forbes attributes the increase primarily to new stadiums as well as increased sponsorship deals.

The rest of the top 10 included Houston at No. 6 ($1.125 billion); Philadelphia No. 7 ($1.116 billion); Chicago at No. 9 ($1.064 billion); and Baltimore at No. 10 ($1.062 billion).

In all, 19 teams were valued at more than $1 billion.

The value for the top teams also correlates more than in the past with success on the field.

The Giants are the reigning Super Bowl champions; the Colts won in 2007; Baltimore won in 2001; the Patriots have won three titles this decade; the Bears and Eagles have played in recent Super Bowls; and Dallas had the NFC's best record last season at 13-3.

Minnesota, Oakland and San Francisco, all with aging stadiums, were at the bottom of the chart.