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NFL Valuations are out; Bengals ranked 21st in the NFL, valued at $953 million

Forbes released their annual NFL Valuations on Wednesday. The Bengals are ranked 21st in the NFL, valued at $953 million, a 1% increase since 2008, and the $222 million earned in revenue ranks 24th. Since 2008, the team's revenue, operating income and player expense increased. It will be interesting to see how much of a decline these numbers will be when the Valuations come out in 2010. With the decrease in season ticket holders and the lack of interest for single-game sales (at least right now), directly affecting other revenue streams at the stadium, they should surely drop. Right?

What will be more interesting is what happens if the Bengals come out of the gate swinging? While the team has said that they're still short on selling out the season opener against the Broncos, you have to figure that a surge of fans buying up tickets, selling out, and then subsequently beating Pittsburgh in week three at home that ticket sales will increase -- if not selling out the remaining home games. Basically, if the Bengals fire out of the gate 5-0 by the time they play their third game of the season against Houston on October 11, then there's no way fans will stay away. With this economy, fans are more likely to go to Paul Brown Stadium to support a winner than they are to pay so much money to watch another losing effort, knowing the entertainment return on their investment is terrible. I suppose we could say that the Bengals are on probation with fans right now.