incinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown is one of the least-wealthy NFL owners, but he’s still worth a hefty penny by an average person’s standards. Forbes reports Mike Brown and his family’s net worth is $2.1 billion.
But unlike Kroenke, Brown is practically an NFL-lifer, as his family’s ownership of the Bengals dates back to the establishment of the team.
Paul Brown Founded the Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Brown’s father, Paul, co-founded two NFL teams, the second of which was the AFL’s Bengals in 1968. Paul coached the Bengals in their first eight seasons, leading them to three playoff appearances.
Mike, who graduated from Dartmouth and Harvard Law School, served as the team’s assistant general manager in the early days of the franchise.
Forbes values the Bengals at $2.275 billion, which is 31st out of 32 NFL teams.
Mike Brown Became Bengals Owner & General Manager in 1991
Upon his father’s death in 1991, Mike Brown inherited the team. In addition as serving as the team’s owner, Brown has been the team’s de facto general manager for the last 30 years.
Mike Brown Threatened to Move Bengals to Baltimore
Celebrity Net Worth reports Brown threatened to move the Bengals to Baltimore if the city and Hamilton County didn’t fund a new stadium.
The threat worked. Cincinnati and Hamilton County agreed to build the Bengals a new stadium, adding a tax increase of half a percent. Market Realist reports Cincinnati gave Brown more than $1 billion to build a new stadium. The Wall-Street Journal called the deal “one of the worst professional sports deals ever struck by a local government” in July 2011.
Bengals’ Home Still Called Paul Brown Stadium
One of the reasons Brown’s net worth dwarfs that of Kroenke and the other richest NFL owners is the Bengals generally don’t maximize all of their revenue streams. The best example of that is the name of where they play.
Forbes reports the Bengals have never sold the naming rights to their stadium. The venue is still named after the team’s founder and Mike’s father.
Mike Brown’s First Playoff Win & Super Bowl As Owner
The Bengals’ lack of playoff success from 1991-2020 has directly coincided with Mike Brown’s ownership. Prior to this January, Cincinnati’s last playoff win was against the Houston Oilers in Jan. 1991. Then Paul Brown died in Aug. 1991.
During Mike Brown’s ownership, the Bengals have posted a 205-298-4 record (.408 win percentage) including the playoffs. Cincinnati’s postseason record under Brown’s ownership was 0-7 prior to this year’s playoff run with second-year quarterback Joe Burrow.
Obviously, that means when the Bengals face the Rams in Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati will be making its first Super Bowl appearance with Mike Brown as team owner.
In Nov. 2015, Rolling Stone named Mike Brown the ninth-worst owner in sports.