The Dallas Cowboys are now the world’s most valuable sports franchise, according to the most recent valuations by Forbes, but things weren’t always so great for “America’s Team.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was recently a guest on Adam Schefter’s podcast and he told a story about just how bad things were when he first purchased the team in 1989.
When Jones was asked how he made the Cowboys look successful early on, he explained that he had to get creative because the team was bleeding money, to the tune of $1 million per month.
“Very early on, the club was losing [money],” Jones told Schefter. “The Cowboys, that I bought — this is not going to make many people respect me as a businessperson — but I bought the Cowboys and they were losing $1 million cash a month, $1 million a month.”
That’s about $2 million per month in 2016 dollars, and that was just the beginning of the financial problems for Jones and the Cowboys.
Jones went on to explain that he was also paying 11% interest on the money he borrowed to buy the team.
“The interest alone on the investment in the club was another X-million dollars, 11 per cent interest on the amount that I borrowed,” Jones said. “It was a bill of almost $100,000 a day.”
That translates to another $3 million per month on top of the $1 million per month in operating losses. That is close to $8 million per month when translated to 2016 dollars.
Twenty-eight years later, things are going a bit better for Jones and the Cowboys.
When Jones purchased the team in 1989 for $140 million, it was the first time anybody had ever paid more than $100 million for a sports team. That investment paid of big time as the Cowboys are now worth $4.2 billion and have an annual operating income of $300 million.
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