nfl stadium owners

Do NFL Owners Own the Stadium? NFL Stadium Owners

Exploring Stadium Ownership and Public Financing

The talk around NFL stadium owners and public funding is pretty layered. The question of who truly controls the venues is not straightforward. Often, it’s not the NFL team owners themselves, but rather a web of public entities, authorities, and private partnerships. Let’s table the economic debate and answer the question, “Do NFL owners own the stadium ? ”

List of NFL Stadium Owners

To better grasp ownership, let’s examine a list of NFL stadium owners, naming rights deals, and lease agreements.

Note that a stadium’s naming rights don’t necessarily dictate ownership. For example, while Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium bears a private company’s name, it’s owned by the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, a public entity.

Team Naming RightsOwner Rent/ Lease Expiration
Arizona CardinalsState FarmArizona Sports and Tourism Authority$304,749/ Exp. 2036
Atlanta FalconsMercedes-BenzGeorgia World Congress Authority$2,500,000/ Exp. 2047
Baltimore RavensM&T BankMaryland Stadium Authority $0/ Exp. 2027
Buffalo BillsHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New YorkCounty Of Erie$900,000 + / Exp. 2053
Carolina PanthersBank of AmericaCarolina PanthersN/A
Chicago BearsNo SponsorChicago Park District$6,300,000/ Exp. 2033
Cincinnati BengalsPaycorHamilton County$0/ Exp. 2026
Cleveland BrownsNo SponsorCity of Cleveland$250,000/ Exp. 2029
Dallas CowboysAT&TCity of Arlington$2,000,000/ Exp. 2039
Denver BroncosEmpowerMetropolitan Football Stadium District$3,250,000/ Exp. 2031
Detroit LionsFord Motor Co.City of Detroit/Wayne County Stadium Authority$250,000/ Exp. 2037
Green Bay PackersNo SponsorCity of Green Bay/Brown County Pro Football Stadium District$816,000/ Exp. 2031
Houston TexansNRG EnergyHarris County Sports & Convention Corp.$4,100,000/ Exp. 2032
Indianapolis ColtsLucas OilIndiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority+ $2,000,000/ Exp. 2034
Jacksonville JaguarsEverBankCity of Jacksonville$1,250,000/ Exp. 2030
Kansas City ChiefsGEHAJackson County Sports Complex Authority$450,000 + / Exp. 2031
Las Vegas RaidersAllegiantLas Vegas Stadium Authority$0/ Exp. 2047
Los Angeles ChargersSoFiStadCo LA, LLC$1/ Exp. N/A 
Los Angeles RamsSoFiStadCo LA, LLC$1/ Exp. N/A
Miami DolphinsHard RockStephen RossN/A
Minnesota VikingsU.S. BankMinnesota Sports Facilities Authority$8,500,00 / Exp. 2046
New England PatriotsProcter & GambleKraft Group N/A
New Orleans SaintsCaesars EntertainmentState of LouisianaN/A
New York GiantsMetLifeMeadowlands Stadium Co.$2,500,000 (co-pay) / Exp. 2032
New York JetsMetLifeMeadowlands Stadium Co.$2,500,000 (co-pay)/ Exp. 2032
Philadelphia EaglesLincoln FinancialCity of PhiladelphiaN/A / Exp. 2032
Pittsburgh SteelersAcrisureSports & Exhibition Authority$2,100,000/ Exp. 2031
San Francisco 49ersLevi Strauss & Co.Santa Clara Stadium Authority$24,500,000 / Exp. N/A
Seattle SeahawksCenturyLink, Inc.Washington State Public Stadium Authority$1,000,000/ Exp. 2031 
Tampa Bay BuccaneersRaymond James FinancialTampa Sports Authority$3,500,000/ Exp. 2028
Tennessee TitansNissanCity of Nashville and Davidson County$362,319/ Exp. 2027
Washington CommandersFedExWashington CommandersN/A
For all sections listed as N/A, either rent is not required or applicable.

NFL Stadium Ownership Breakdown

Regardless of who owns the stadium, public funding has played a big role in constructing and renovating many NFL stadiums. Between 1970 and 2020, U.S. and Canadian state/local governments spent about $33 billion on major sports venues, per a 2022 survey.

When it comes to NFL stadium ownership, there are two main setups: public ownership and private ownership.

Public Ownership

Most NFL stadiums are publicly owned, with the local/state government or a designated public authority retaining ownership. In this deal, the NFL team typically holds a long-term lease granting them control and operation for a set period.

Public ownership is often driven by perceived economic benefits and civic pride of hosting an NFL team.

  • CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks) – Owned by Washington State Public Stadium Authority
  • Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas Raiders) – Owned by Las Vegas Stadium Authority

Private Ownership

Some NFL stadiums are privately owned by the team’s ownership group or an associated private entity. Here, the team covers full construction and maintenance costs which can become pretty hefty.

Private ownership gives teams more control over design, operations, and revenue streams.

  • Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots) – Owned by Kraft Group ( Robert Kraft)
  • Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers) – Owned by Carolina Panthers

Team Revenue and Deals

While not always stadium owners, NFL teams still benefit greatly from venue revenue streams – ticket sales, concessions, naming rights, and partnerships.

Stadium deals often involve agreements outlining rent, revenue sharing, and facility control. Teams may negotiate lucrative deals giving them a larger revenue share, even if not outright owners.


A look at the construction cost of each NFL stadium.

Economic Impact

Most NFL teams (21 out of 32) play in stadiums over 20 years old. Many of these older stadiums are owned by cities, and the leases require the local government or taxpayers to pay for future renovations. Critics argue stadium construction and operation can displace residents, increase traffic, and divert public funds from essential services. Plus, sports spending may simply shift consumer behavior rather than generate new economic activity.

Proponents tout potential job creation, tourism growth, and development, but academic studies often find limited long-term economic benefits for host cities.

For context, the total annual revenues generated by a sports team relative to its host city’s GDP, is roughly between one-third and one-twentieth of one percent to the local area economy.

Ultimately, a stadium’s economic impact depends on factors like the specific deal, the community’s existing economic landscape, and overall facility management and usage.