It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

A time that induces fond memories of togetherness and implies promises of family, food, and spiritual bonding with your fellow man. No, not Christmas, the kickoff of a new NFL season! It’s the time of the year when each Sunday captivates the nation with endless supplies of buffalo wings, lite beer, and a healthy dose of hard hitting drama. While you’re probably well-read on this year’s fantasy sleepers, expert predictions, or new rule changes, it’s less likely you’re familiar with the economic effect NFL teams have on their local markets. There are many varying opinions regarding whether or not it’s economically viable for a city to support an NFL team since weighing the public expense of supporting stadium costs against the less tangible cultural value is very much a subjective matter. There are however, tangible positive contributions the presence of an NFL team can bring to a city. For example, local construction companies, trade unions, bank branches, architecture firms, and hotels would all obviously see appeal in having an NFL team and stadium. But what about the average Joe? Is it possible for a typical citizen to see an actual monetary return from a local NFL team, or is their benefit limited to existential rewards like a strengthened community or better city image? Most likely, the answer to this question is no, you won’t see any return on your taxes that go to sustaining the presence of an NFL team. However, if you own property in a city before it’s declared that an NFL team will be moving to a zip code near you, the increase in your property value could demonstrate a substantially higher return than average residential real estate market rates across the country.

Since data becomes more and more scarce the further back into history we go, for sake of accuracy for this case study, we’ll focus on the three NFL teams that have changed cities, (or declared they’re changing cities), within the last three years: The Rams, The Chargers, and The Raiders, and determine how the residential property value surrounding the stadium of the cities each team left and residential property values surrounding where their new stadiums are to be built compare to typical market rates in the rest of the country over the last three years.

Rams: St. Louis to Los Angeles

The Rams were approved for relocation to Los Angeles in January of 2016.

Median residential property market rate change in USA, 2016-2017: +7.3%

Median residential property market rate change for properties surrounding The Dome, The Rams old stadium in St Louis, MO, 2016-2017: +4.3%

Median residential property market rate change for properties surrounding the construction site for The Rams new stadium in Inglewood, CA, 2016-2017: +23.5%

Chargers: San Diego to Los Angeles

The Chargers were approved for relocation to Los Angeles in January of 2017.

Median residential property market rate change in USA, 2017-2018: +8.3%

Median residential property market rate change for properties surrounding Qualcomm Stadium, The Chargers old stadium in San Diego, CA, 2017-2018: +0.25%

Median residential property market rate change for properties surrounding the construction site for The Chargers new stadium in Inglewood, CA, 2017-2018: +2.3%

Raiders: Oakland to Las Vegas

The Raiders were approved for relocation to Las Vegas in March of 2017.

Median residential property market rate change in USA, 2017-2018: +8.3%

Median residential property market rate change for properties surrounding The Coliseum, The Raiders soon to be old stadium in Oakland, CA, 2017-2018: +1.25%

Median residential property market rate change for properties surrounding the construction site for The Raiders new stadium in Las Vegas, NV, 2017-2018: +12.7%

So, as you can see, in almost every case the market value of properties near stadiums of teams that left increased by a smaller rate than the average market rate change across the country, and median residential property rate values of cities acquiring teams were significantly higher than average market rates across the country. The one exception in the entire case study is the value of properties in Inglewood after the Chargers declared their move, which were lower than average market rates. This is likely better explained as a combination of an overcorrection for the Rams move to the same stadium site a year earlier, and the fact that the NFL was already indicating as early as 2016 that another team would move to LA along with the Rams.

Now that it’s been demonstrated there is a strong correlation between the presence of NFL teams and higher residential property values, all you need to cash in on the next NFL expansion or move is a little insider knowledge….

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