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Jeffrey Lurie may sell part of the Eagles. Here’s what that could mean for fans and the team.

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie holds the George Halas Trophy trophy after the NFC Championship Game win over San Francisco Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Matt Slocum/AP
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie holds the George Halas Trophy trophy after the NFC Championship Game win over San Francisco Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
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Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is considering selling a minority stake in the Eagles, according to a report by Bloomberg 첥Ƶ. The percentage of the franchise that could be sold is unknown, but Lurie has told those who might be interested that the deal would not include a path to a controlling interest.

Here’s how a sale could affect the team and its fans.

What would Lurie gain from selling part of the Eagles?

“Cash,” said professor Victor Matheson, who studies and writes on the economics of sports at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. “That’s the No. 1 thing.” Even a smaller investor can easily spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to own part of a team.

So if Lurie sells a percentage of the Eagles, where might that money go?

Hard to say. It could go directly to helping Lurie diversify his investment portfolio. Unlike some pro sports owners who grew rich in real estate or tech and hold a team as just one of their assets, Lurie’s main interest and job is running the Eagles.

Where else could it be spent?

Some or all of that multimillion-dollar infusion could be spent on the team itself. In the 2024 survey by the NFL Players Association, Eagles players identified two areas where they would like greater investment. One is travel arrangements — players feel crammed in the back of the plane while the staff sits in first class. (The team has added a second plane to provide more room.)

The second issue mentioned is the Lincoln Financial Field locker room, which feels outdated. Overall, the Eagles got high marks, finishing fourth among teams.

What would a minority owner gain from the deal?

A reliable investment, for one, given that the values of professional sports teams continue to accelerate. Part-owners get status and in some cases perks that include luxury seating and on-field access. Perhaps most of all, investors can learn about running a team to position themselves as a potential owner.

“It’s a way to get your foot in the door,” Matheson said. “It’s really hard to get into the league as a full owner.”

Even among billionaires who can afford to own a team, Matheson said, the number of professional sports franchises is extremely limited — only 124 across the four major leagues — and they rarely come up for sale. Experience counts.

Does a minority partner offer more than money?

Sometimes they offer not just cash but cachet, adding sparkle and interest by virtue of their own celebrity.

In Kansas City, Chiefs quarterback and NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes joined ownership groups for baseball’s Kansas City Royals and soccer’s Sporting Kansas City, along with the women’s pro soccer Kansas City Current.

LeBron James, who could well become an NBA team owner, already owns part of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Liverpool FC, one of the most popular soccer teams in the world.

Last year five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson became part-owner of the Washington Commanders, investing $240 million in the ownership group led by Josh Harris, whose Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment owns the Sixers and the New Jersey Devils. Johnson already was an investor in the Los Angeles Dodgers, soccer’s Los Angeles FC, and the women’s pro basketball Los Angeles Sparks.

How much are the Eagles’ worth?

The Eagles are worth an estimated $5.8 billion, making them the 10th-most valuable team in the 32-team National Football League, according to Forbes, which conducts an annual ranking. That valuation puts the Eagles slightly behind the New York Jets and Commanders, both worth slightly more than $6 billion. The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable team, at $9 billion; the Cincinnati Bengals the least, at $3.5 billion.

Have the Eagles been a good investment for Lurie and family?

Yes indeed. In 1994, Lurie borrowed money to buy the Eagles for $185 million from Miami luxury-car dealer Norman Braman, who grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple. That was a record price for a sports franchise and nearly three times the $65 million that Braman paid less than a decade earlier. “There’s more to life than the National Football League,” Braman said as he sold.

Today the Eagles are worth roughly 30 times that $185 million. And Lurie’s personal wealth has grown to $4.6 billion, making him the 691st-richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

How much could having a minority owner affect fans?

Very little. Lurie would remain in control of the team. With no path to a controlling interest, a partial owner would have little impact on what fans see and experience. Minority owners don’t get to set ticket prices, draft players, or hire or fire the coach.

Would changes occur in the Eagles’ day-to-day football operations?

Probably not in ways that anyone outside the organization might notice. Lurie, 72, would maintain a prominent role in decision-making. He’s already laying the groundwork for his son, Julian, to eventually take over running the franchise.

The Harvard graduate is a member of the Eagles front office, in business and football operations strategy, a position he assumed in 2022. He worked for the league office after graduating in 2017.

Inquirer staff writer EJ Smith contributed to this article.

Jeff Gammage is a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer

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