Professional sports franchises are more profitable than ever before. According to the latest data from Forbes,
the average value of an NFL team is $2.5 billion, up 32% in the past two years and more than triple since END AREND>The Great Recession.
Meanwhile, the average value of an NBA team is $1.1 billion, which is up 19% in the past year and nearly quadruple from a low point in 2014.
In other words, owning a professional sports team has never been so lucrative.
These pro-sports teams are also becoming quite valuable thanks to new stadium deals and sponsorships that monetize logos on jerseys and field logos as much as possible.
For example, the New York Yankees recently signed a new sponsorship deal for $100 million over 15 years that allows Pepsi to become the “official partner” of Yankee Stadium (and have their logo featured prominently).
The deal will undoubtedly be worth much more in coming years as premium events like concerts and soccer games grow in popularity at venues with built-in audience capacity and amenities.
So whether you’re thinking about buying an NHL franchise or just want some ideas on how to invest your own money, here are The Top 10 Most Valuable Teams In American Pro-Sports:
The Most Valuable Teams In the NBA
The NBA is now the most valuable sports league in the world, with average team values up 25% from last year to $1.2 billion.
This has a lot to do with the explosion of the league’s digital and streaming revenue, which has grown from $3 million per year 10 years ago to $150 million per year.
Meanwhile, the average operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of an NBA team is $92 million (up from $68 million last year).
We’ll start our countdown with the New York Knicks, who are the most valuable team in the NBA ($3.3 billion), despite finishing last in the Eastern Conference this past season.
Although Madison Square Garden has been losing money as a venue and MSG’s surrounding neighborhood has seen significant gentrification in recent years, the Knicks own the world’s most famous arena and are expected to sign a new naming rights deal in the coming months.
This is especially true in light of the fact that billionaire real estate mogul and Knicks owner James Dolan has been seeking a naming rights deal since 2010.
The Most Valuable Teams In the MLB
The average MLB team is now worth $1.2 billion, up 11% from last year thanks to league-wide increases in TV and digital media rights.
In fact, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested that the league’s media rights deal, which expires in 2021, should be worth more than $8 billion per year, compared to the $5.5 billion per year deal the NFL signed in 2011.
And though the New York Yankees have a $3 billion valuation thanks to a $3 million per year deal with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum,
the Chicago Cubs are the most valuable baseball team ($3.3 billion). The Cubs were worth $1.2 billion when they won the World Series in 2016. That was the first time a team had increased its value so much in a single year,
and now the Cubs are worth three times as much thanks to a $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field that was financed in part by a $600 million investment from billionaire investors including Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Musa’id.
The Most Valuable Teams in the NFL
The average NFL team is now worth $2.5 billion, up 12% from last year thanks almost entirely to new stadiums.
In fact, the average operating profit of an NFL team is $91 million (compared to $91 million five years ago), despite the fact that the league’s current media rights deal ends in 2022 and networks may not be willing to pay as much for football content.
And the Dallas Cowboys ($4.2 billion) are once again the most valuable NFL team.
However, the value of the “world’s most valuable sports franchise” has declined from $4.8 billion last year, when the team signed a $450 million sponsorship with Ford that was the biggest ever for an NFL team.
The Most Valuable Teams in the MLS
MLS is now the least valuable of the major sports leagues, with the average team worth $316 million, up from $150 million five years ago (albeit still down from a high of $356 million two years ago).
And though the league has 16 teams each worth at least $100 million, the most valuable MLS team is actually the New York City Football Club ($287 million). While the majority of MLS teams declined in value over the past year,
NYCFC actually increased its team value by $58 million, thanks to a $100 million sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways.
The deal makes Etihad the official airline partner of NYCFC and the New York Yankees, and includes signage at Yankee Stadium and a branded boarding area at the main NYCFC stadium in the Bronx.
Other Sport League Value Highlights
The NHL ($3.3 billion) is the next most valuable sport league, followed by the NFL ($2.5 billion), the MLB ($1.2 billion), the NBA ($1.2 billion), and the Canadian Football League ($308 million). While the CFL’s average team value has declined in recent years, the league has a significant advantage over other sports when it comes to team ownership.
That’s because the CFL does not have a salary cap, which would be necessary to maintain parity between teams. As a result, the average CFL team is only worth $25 million, which is less than the average NFL team ($2.5 billion). The ECHL, which is not a major league in North America,
is the most valuable minor league hockey league in the world. The ECHL’s average team value is $7 million, compared to $2 million for the AHL and $5 million for the NHL teams.
Owning a pro-sports team can be a dream for many sports fans, and the good news is that pro-sports teams have never been more valuable.
Whether you’re thinking about investing in an NHL franchise or one of the more traditional leagues like the NBA, the NFL, or MLB, you can expect a healthy return on your investment in the future. That being said, there is no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to investing,
and there is always a potential for risk. That being said, you’re far more likely to see a return on your investment if you choose wisely and are patient enough to weather any market storms that come your way.