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Forbes releases sports top 50 most valuable franchises and Raiders actually made the list this time

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Well, now there’s a sight we haven’t seen in a while.

Each year Forbes puts out their list of the most valuable sports franchises. Not surprisingly there are a lot of NFL teams on that list. But over the past few years, the Raiders were not among them. But this year, they were back on the list, baby.

Sitting at number 34 on the Forbes Top 50 franchises is the Raiders with an estimated worth of $2.1 billion as the 20th most valuable NFL franchise. That’s a whopping 47% increase from last year when they were worth $1.43 billion.

Only the Rams had a higher leap in value from last year. They saw a 100% increase due to their return to Los Angeles. Their current worth is estimated at $2.9 billion.

Just like the Rams, it could be the prospect of the team finally getting a new stadium in the works that caused the worth to spike. Also, like the Rams, that new stadium means a relocation. In the Raiders’ case, it’s from Oakland to Las Vegas which is scheduled to take place in 2020.

It’s been a long time since the Raiders were considered among the most valuable franchises in sports. Four years to be exact. You have to go back to 2013 when they were ranked right at 50 on the the list.

That year only two NFL teams didn’t make the Top 50. In 2014, two teams again didn’t make it. This time the Raiders were one of them. In 2015, the number of NFL teams not on the list grew to 12 with the Raiders again among them. Last year the Raiders were among five NFL teams not in the Top 50.

This year, 3 NFL franchises didn’t make the Top 50 list — The Bills, Bengals, and Lions. Even the Browns and Jaguars made the list this year.

Even still, to go from a four year stretch without an appearance in the Top 50 to 34 on the list, is pretty sizable.

Keep in mind, however, these are just estimates from Forbes. Franchises are always worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them. And you can bet the Raiders have always been a valuable commodity should the franchise hit the market. Even before the new stadium was approved.