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Big Return on Investment

George Halas paid $100 for the Chicago Bears franchise in 1920 and now they're worth billions.

The Bears are worth $3.53 billion and are the 18th most valuable sports franchise according to the annual report Forbes does, the latest of which was released on Friday.

They've had a 44% climb in value over the last five years, which can't be a problem for the McCaskey family. While their value has risen from $3.45 billion last year, they have been passed by the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Dodgers and soccer teams Bayern, Liverpool and Manchester City in overall value.

The most valuable sports franchise is the Dallas Cowboys ($5.7 billion) and the New York Yankees are second ($5.25 billion).

The Bears are the seventh most valuable NFL franchise according to Forbes. Following Dallas are New England (8th, $4.4 billion), the New York Giants (9th, $4.3 billion), the Los Angeles Rams (13th, $4 billion), the San Francisco 49ers (15th, $3.8 billion and the New York Jets (17th, $3.55 billion).

The Bears have netted the greatest percentage return on the original investment of any team in the top 50, because George Halas paid only a fee of $100 for the team in 1920. It was the same amount the Green Bay Packers were worth in 1921. The Packers are now reportedly worth $3.05 billion, the 31st most valuable sports franchise and 14th most valuable NFL franchise.

Two other franchises in Chicago ranked in the top 50. The Bulls are 23rd overall at $3.3 billion. Jerry Reinsdorf bought them almost as a secondary project in 1985 after he had already been involved with purchasing the White Sox, and they cost $16.6 million when they were purchased. A few years later he was paying Michael Jordan $30 million a year.

The Cubs are 22nd overall, valued at $3.36 billion. The Ricketts family bought them 12 years ago for $700 million.

A total of 26 of the top 50 most valuable franchises are from the NFL.

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