Financial touchdown

Janice McNair scores spot among wealthiest owners of NFL teams

Janice McNair scores spot among wealthiest owners of NFL teams

Brookwood luncheon, Janice McNair, Bob McNair, Barbara Bush
Janice McNair (pictured with husband, Bob McNair and former first lady, Barbara Bush) has an estimated worth of $ 4 billion.  Courtesy photo

The Houston Texans are at the top of their division and now, a new report reveals that owner Janice McNair is also in an elite group.

A new list, published by CNBC, finds McNair rounding out the top 10 richest billionaire owners in the National Football League. McNair, whose net worth is estimated at $4 billion, took control of the team following the death of her husband, Robert "Bob," McNair, in 2018.

Robert McNair worked as an ad salesman and struggling entrepreneur for years before founding energy company and power plant operator Cogen Technologies in 1984. The company was successful and he sold it to Enron in 1999 for $1.5 billion (two years before the latter filed for bankruptcy), notes CNBC.

That same year, McNair paid the NFL $700 million for an expansion franchise in Houston, the Texans, which is now worth $3.1 billion. Local football fans, grieving the loss of the Houston Oilers to Tennessee in 1997, were instantly grateful.

The Texans franchise is now tied for No. 22 among the most valuable sports franchises in the world

Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys might be having a so-so season, but owner Jerry Jones, aside from being the fifth wealthiest resident of Texas, is tied for third richest among owners of NFL franchises.

CNBC puts Jones and Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in the No. 3 spot. Each man’s net worth is estimated at $8.5 billion, CNBC says.

CNBC notes that Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million. In the 30 years since, the team has scored three Super Bowl victories, and its value has soared to $5.5 billion. That makes the Cowboys the most valuable team in the NFL.

McNair and Jones aren’t the only Texans in the NFL billionaires club.

Stan Kroenke, who owns a ranch west of Wichita Falls, sits at No. 2 on the list. His net worth is estimated at $9.7 billion, CNBC says. His other sports holdings include the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

This year, Kroenke bumped Jones from his No. 4 perch in Forbes’ ranking of the richest Texans, knocking the Cowboys owner down to No. 5.

So, who is the richest NFL owner of all? Scoring the No. 1 spot is David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers, who is worth $12 billion.

Also on the team: Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins owner (No. 5); Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner (No. 6); Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons owner (No. 7); Terry Pegula, Buffalo Bills owner (No. 8); and Stephen Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens owner (No. 9).