Rams come in last on Forbes' list

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A year ago, the St. Louis Rams made the largest gains in Forbes' annual rankings of the NFL's most valuable franchises. In the newest version of those rankings, the Rams are worth more than they were a year ago but were surpassed by the rest of the league in total value.

With an uncertain stadium situation and a team that hasn't had a winning season in a decade, the Rams checked in at No. 32 in the latest valuations from Forbes.

In this year's valuations, the Rams' estimated value comes in at $930 million. Earlier this year, that was enough to make the Rams the 45th most valuable franchise in all of sports according to Forbes. Of course, that simply speaks to the overall value of every NFL team.

But the Rams aren't faring too well when it comes to keeping up with the Joneses. The Dallas Cowboys, whom Forbes ranks as the second-most valuable franchise in all of sports, top the NFL list by coming in at $3.2 billion -- or more than three times what the Rams are worth.

Per Forbes, the Rams' 2013 revenue was $250 million with an operating income of $16 million.

In assessing why the Rams came in at the bottom of the list, here's what Forbes had to say:

The Rams play in the antiquated Edward Jones Dome, but can move in March 2015 and are considered a likely candidate to be one of two NFL teams headed to Los Angeles.

Of course, whether the Rams eventually return to Los Angeles is a consistent topic amongst fans in St. Louis and southern California. Although the Rams' lease at the Edward Jones Dome expires after this season, that situation likely won't gain much clarity anytime soon. It's also worth noting where the Rams came in on the rankings last year when they made the biggest gains in terms of percentage value of any team in the league.

In 2013, the Rams were No. 29 on the list, ahead of Buffalo, Jacksonville and Oakland. They were valued at $875 million, up 12 percent from the $780 million value of 2012.

But that push last year came on the heels of the Rams’ victory in their arbitration case with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission. Forbes viewed that victory as a positive in their valuation and the uptick accounted for the upward mobility that a new stadium would generate in terms of revenue along with expected league-wide revenue increases.

Cleary, the Rams' win in that arbitration case has done nothing to nudge forward a stadium solution or a major renovation of the Edward Jones Dome.

While the Rams' value is up $55 million from last year, the uncertainty surrounding the stadium and the fact the Edward Jones Dome is among the worst venues in the league leaves the Rams now trailing even the likes of the Bills, Jaguars and Raiders.

A move back to Los Angeles, as suggested by Forbes, would clearly elevate the Rams in these rankings considering all that would come with it, including a new stadium and an increase in market size. Here in St. Louis, a new stadium would also go a long way toward increasing the team's value.

But until there's at least some sort of tangible movement on a solution, it's a safe bet the Rams will remain at the bottom of lists such as these.