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Breaking Down the Smallest Market Teams in the NFL

Here are the smallest market teams in the NFL – broken down by market size, franchise value, payroll, stadium capacity, and more.

A Green Bay Packers fan wears a cheese head with the word "OWNER" written on the side. Green Bay tops our list for the smallest market NFL teams.
Credit-AP/Joker Mag

The National Football League commands the largest broadcast viewership in all of sports. The phrase “any given Sunday” speaks to the parity within the league.

On the gridiron, the underdogs always have a chance.

When compared to baseball’s small market squads, an NFL team’s competitiveness has little to do with the size of its market. While hotbeds like New York and LA command tons of media attention, any NFL team can make a run at the Lombardi Trophy in any given season.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Quarterback is by far the most important position. If a team picks the right signal-caller, the rest falls into place.
  • The worst teams from the previous year get the earliest draft choices, giving them a better chance to kickstart a rebuild.
  • With over 890 college football programs in the country, teams have plenty of options to find talent at every division level.

Here are the smallest market teams in the NFL – broken down by market size, franchise value, payroll, stadium capacity, and more.

1.) Green Bay Packers

Market Size: 471,00 people

Stadium Capacity: 81,441

2023 Payroll: $218,912,620 (22nd of 32)

Franchise Value: $4.6 billion (20th of 32)

The Green Bay Packers are the smallest market NFL team with a market size of 471,000 people. In fact, Green Bay is the smallest major league professional sports market in North America.

And while their media market includes the greater Green Bay area, the city alone only contains 107,015 people. That means Lambeau Field can hold 76% of Green Bay’s entire population!

But despite their minuscule market, the Packers boast the Cheeseheads – one of the most devoted fanbases in all of sports. And with four Super Bowl Championships – the trophy is named after the Packers’ legendary coach – this franchise is small but mighty.

2.) Buffalo Bills

Market Size: 632,000 people

Stadium Capacity: 71,608

2023 Payroll: $224,778,210 (7th of 32)

Franchise Value: $3.7 billion (30th of 32)

Regardless of their size, Bills Mafia comes out in full force every time their team is in town.

Buffalo has made it to the Super Bowl four times, but they have yet to capture that elusive Lombardi Trophy. But with a promising young quarterback at the helm, the fanbase is hopeful their time will come sooner than later.

3.) New Orleans Saints

Market Size: 687,000 people

Stadium Capacity: 74,295

2023 Payroll: $221,089,973 (14th of 32)

Franchise Value: $4.08 billion (27th of 32)

Despite playing in the third smallest NFL market, the Saints enjoyed many fruitful years with Drew Brees and Sean Payton running the show. But as the franchise enters a new era, change is in the air.

Can New Orleans make a run at a second Super Bowl ring? Or will they remain in limbo, searching for a new face to lead them back to the promised land?

RELATED: The Shortest NFL Players – Now & Through Football History

4.) Jacksonville Jaguars

Market Size: 791,000 people

Stadium Capacity: 67,164

2023 Payroll: $219,658,641 (20th of 32)

Franchise Value: $4 billion (28th of 32)

The Jaguars came in hot upon their arrival to the NFL in 1995 – making the playoffs in four of their first five years of existence. Since then, they’ve struggled to find an identity.

Most recently, their 2017 lockdown defense led them all the way to the AFC Championship. Now, with a young QB and a Super Bowl-winning coach in charge, the passionate Jacksonville fanbase is hoping for a ring.

5.) Las Vegas Raiders

Market Size: 870,000 people

Stadium Capacity: 71,835

2023 Payroll: $223,432,682 (11th of 32)

Franchise Value: $6.2 billion (6th of 32)

The Raiders’ last Super Bowl victory came in 1983 when the team was based in Los Angeles. They’ve since gone through two more cities – Oakland and now Las Vegas – without the same level of success.

Raider Nation is hungry for a ring, but their wishes haven’t materialized on the field.

RELATED: D3 Football Players Who Made it to The NFL

More small-market NFL teams:

  • Cincinnati Bengals (6th smallest market, lowest franchise value)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (7th smallest market)
  • Baltimore Ravens (8th smallest market)
  • Tennessee Titans (9th smallest market)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (10th smallest market)
  • Indianapolis Colts (11th smallest market)
  • Carolina Panthers (12th smallest market)

Editor’s Note: All data is accurate as of October 4th, 2023.

More from this series:

Do you like rooting for the teams and players counted out by the masses? Then you’ll love our Underdog Newsletter where we highlight under-the-radar players and overlooked stories happening in sports. Join here 👇

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.

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