The National Football League’s 2012 regular season will officially get under way tonight as the New York Giants host their divisional rival, the Dallas Cowboys.
Of course, whether this season will be the NFL’s most exciting yet is anyone’s guess, but it’s a pretty good bet that 2012 will be the league’s most profitable year yet.
The NFL has been called one of our nation’s best-run businesses, and it’s the most financially impressive of American sports’ “big four.” From ticket sales to media rights to merchandising and licensing, the NFL brings in billions every year — and this year, those revenues are expected to reach $9.5 billion, more than 7% better than 2011.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a goal of reaching $25 billion in revenues by 2027, and by the looks of things, that doesn’t seem out of reach. Here’s a glance at the league’s impressive revenue growth during the past couple decades: