Have you seen Forbes magazine’s list of the most valuable sports franchises in the world? If you haven’t and live in the United States, the list might surprise you in some ways. There are sports teams globally that are worth a lot of money and while American sports owners are in the top ten, some teams are not as valuable as European soccer squads. How this list is put together is known only by the people at the magazine and as always, the value of a franchise is in the eyes of the beholder. For instance, Bill Foley and his partners thought getting a National Hockey League expansion franchise for $500 million in Las Vegas was quite reasonable. As far as anyone knows, there are no baseball, football, basketball or hockey teams on the market.
For what it is worth, Forbes’ top team is Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys which according to the magazine staff comes in at $4 billion. That’s up 25 percent over the 2015 assessment of three billion dollars. Despite continuing economic problems in Spain, Real Madrid’s soccer team is second on the Forbes list with Barcelona third. Baseball’s New York Yankees value increased slightly over 2015 and is worth more than $3 billion. Manchester United is in the fifth slot. One of the reasons European soccer teams are assessed so highly is because of massive global TV deals. The first NBA team on the list is the Dolan Family’s New York Knicks in seventh place despite being a bad team for years, again there is a lot of TV money headed that franchise’s way.
There are twenty-seven NFL teams in the Top 50, eight NBA teams, eight international soccer teams and seven baseball teams. No NHL made the list. Of course, the list is just guess work and should not be taken seriously unless you have the money and want to buy a team.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner