Arizona Cardinals Climb to 20th Most Valuable NFL Team Under Bruce Arians

The Arizona Cardinals' profitability increased 54 percent in 2015 under the direction of head coach Bruce Arians — proof that winning ways generate bigger bucks.

The team's value, which had hovered between $800 million and $1 billion for the past decade, jumped to $1.54 billion this year, landing the team at 20th on the list of most profitable NFL franchises, according to Forbes magazine's National Football League ranking. 

The Cardinals improved more than all but two other teams in the league. The San Francisco 49ers, ranked fifth at $2.7 billion, increased their worth by 69 percent, and the St. Louis Rams, ranked 28th at $1.45 billion, bumped their value by 56 percent.

The Dallas Cowboys, worth $4 billion, are the most profitable team, followed by the New England Patriots, at $3.2 billion, and the Washington Redskins, at $2.85 billion.

Arians, 2014's Associated Press Coach of the Year (the second time he'd won the honor), has led the Cardinals to victory in 22 out of 34 games since he took the helm in 2013, setting a franchise record.'s Elliot Harrison recently ranked the head coach the seventh best in the league, up from 13th last year.

Unlike Arians, the top six coaches have Super Bowl wins.

The Cardinals, who haven't won a championship since 1947, were a league joke until then-quarterback Kurt Warner led them to the Super Bowl following the 2008 season. And even after that dynamic championship game in early '09, in which they narrowly lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team sunk back into the depths of the league under former coach Ken Whisenhunt. In 2012, the team became the first in league history to lose 700 games. 

Enter Arians, general manager Steve Keim, and quarterback Carson Palmer, and metro Phoenix's generally fair-weather sports fans can't get enough of the Redbirds. 

The team's profitability has mirrored those ups and downs.

Forbes listed the team as the least profitable in the NFL four times between 1988, when the Cardinals moved to Arizona, and 2005. The team's fortunes improved after they made the Super Bowl following the 2008 season. Last year, Forbes ranked the Cardinals 25th.
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Elizabeth Stuart
Contact: Elizabeth Stuart