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The annual Forbes magazine valuation of NFL teams puts the San Diego Chargers’ value at $888 million, a 7 percent increase from last year.

Owner Alex Spanos bought the team for $70 million in 1984, according to the magazine.

The magazine ranks the team 26th out of 32 in the league in terms of value and puts its annual revenue at $207 million. The team’s operating income is $19 million a year, according to Forbes.

However, if the magazine’s number estimates are as tenuous as their assessment of the team’s chances of getting half of the stadium publicly financed, you might want to take it all with a grain of salt.

Here’s what the magazine has to say:

The skinny
There is a good chance that Dean Spanos, who now runs the team for his father, Alex, will be able to negotiate a deal for a new stadium. Dean is more liked by taxpayers than his father who, correctly or not, was perceived as greedy by local media. That means a new stadium in San Diego with a 50-50 split in private-public financing is possible. The Chargers also have more leverage with each passing season. The team can exit antiquated Qualcomm Stadium after the 2008 season by paying off the rest of their lease (annual rent is $2.5 million), and the buyout price drops considerably after 2011. Dean also has delivered on the gridiron, where last year’s move to replace Marty Schottenheimer with Norv Turner has worked out as the Chargers reached the AFC title game and the locker room had much better chemistry than it did under Schottenheimer.

Check out my colleague Rob Davis‘ June story for the latest on new stadium talks and my story on the new economics of stadium financing for more.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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