The NFC South and Forbes' list

The most valuable sports franchise in the world is controlled by an NFC South owner. But it’s not an American football team.

Manchester United, owned by Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer and his family, is worth $2.23 billion, according to Forbes’ annual list of the most valuable teams in the world of sports. Manchester United edged out No. 2 Real Madrid, which is worth $1.88 million.

Although the Buccaneers have struggled with home attendance in recent years, they didn’t fare badly when the list got into football teams. The Bucs are worth $981 million, which ranks them second in the NFC South and No. 29 on the overall list.

With an estimated value of $1 billion, the Carolina Panthers are the most valuable team in the NFC South (not just all professional sports teams). They’re No. 23 on the overall list. The New Orleans Saints are just behind them, coming in at $965 million, No. 31 on the list.

The Atlanta Falcons are No. 39 at $814 million. That’s a little surprising because Atlanta is the NFC South’s largest market. But this team may not climb out of last place in the division until it gets the new stadium it is seeking.