Robert Kraft saved the New England Patriots with a gutsy $175 million investment and it has paid off big time

From left, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady carry Vince Lombardi trophies onto the field at Fenway Park on April 13, 2015.

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From left, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady carry Vince Lombardi trophies onto the field at Fenway Park on April 13, 2015.
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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

  • In 1994, Robert Kraft purchased the struggling New England Patriots for a then-record $175 million.
  • The move kept the team from moving to St. Louis.
  • Since then, the Patriots’ franchise value has soared to $3.8 billion, second only to the Dallas Cowboys.

In 1994, Robert Kraft owned Foxboro Stadium, then the home of the New England Patriots, and rejected a $75 million offer to buy out the lease.

If he had sold, it would have allowed the team to move to St. Louis. Instead, Kraft paid a then-NFL record $175 million to buy the team and keep it in the Boston area.

It was a gutsy move for a team playing nearly a decade’s worth of bad football in an outdated stadium, dishing out the equivalent of about $300 million in today’s dollars. Now the Patriots are said to be worth $3.8 billion, with a B, according to Forbes.com’s latest valuations.

In 2000, the Patriots were considered just slightly above average with a value of $464 million compared with the average NFL team of $423 million. Since then they have won five Super Bowls and only trail the Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion) in value.

Not bad. Not a bad investment at all.

New England Patriots franchise value

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Yutong Yuan/Business Insider