At spring meetings in Nashville, the NFL‘s 32 owners approved an increase to the debt limit to make it easier to finance ownership transactions.

The acquisition debt limit has been raised by $200m to $700m, resulting in a total of $1.4bn available for new buyers, inclusive of the existing $700m financing available to each team owner.

As the value of NFL franchises continues to soar, the question of allowing private equity in ownership has gained greater attention. The sale of the Washington Commanders last year set a new league record at $6.05bn, surpassing the $4.65bn sale price of the Denver Broncos in 2022.

In October, the league increased the cap on debt that existing team owners can have from $600m to $700m. This followed a previous raise from $500m to $600m in the Autumn of 2022.

The new buyer debt limit played a pivotal role in the $6.05bn acquisition of the Washington Commanders in 2023. Initially, Josh Harris‘ group proposed a deal comprising $1.1bn of secured debt (the permissible limit), alongside an additional $1bn of unsecured debt, a proposal that met resistance from the NFL. 

Ultimately, the unsecured debt was excluded from the final agreement. However, this episode left many owners contemplating the implications for future team acquisitions.

Regarding ownership’s view on private equity, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, said: “I think it’s fair to say that they agree with the direction that we’re going. The committee has worked incredibly hard, and I think they have a great appreciation for that, and have great confidence in their work.”

Amidst the NFL’s dynamic landscape of ownership transactions and financial regulations, sponsorship remains a pivotal aspect of the league’s growth and revenue generation. Insider Sport recently delved into the rising tide of sponsorship within the NFL, offering insights into the league’s sponsorship trends and implications for the future.

Previous articleSerie A adds Allied Sports to accelerating US growth plans
Next articleWest Ham’s Lucas Paquetá faces four spot-fixing charges