This time, the Lions’ loss is money

The Detroit Lions, who in 2008 posted the only 0-16 season in NFL history, accomplished another first the previous season. They were the only NFL team to lose money in 2007, according to the Detroit Free Press:

    Two years ago, the Lions lost $3.1 million, which, according to an editor at Forbes magazine who spends much of his year breaking down the worth of NFL teams, is not an easy thing to do.
    Forbes’ research found that the Lions were the only NFL team to lose money in the 2007 season.
    The team also lost $1.8 million in 2006 (although it wasn’t the only club to post a loss that year). Numbers for 2008 aren’t out, but an 0-16 record, five games that didn’t sell out and a slew of discounted tickets make it hard to fathom that the bottom line will be better.
    So how does a team with a state-of-the-art stadium, an old-school brand and an exceedingly loyal fan base fail to make a profit during a 7-9 season — its best in years — in the flushest league in pro sports?
    “Usually, the performance on the field indicates the performance off the field,” said Mike Ozanian, Forbes’ national editor.

The Free Press report does note that despite the Lions’ issues and the struggling economy, the franchise’s value has almost tripled, from $328 million after the 2000 season to $917 million now.

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