You Need Serious Money To Own A Major League Sports Franchise

The days of the mom and pop sports operation are done.

Forbes Magazine has released its annual assessment of the sporting world’s most valuable businesses. It is a futile exercise because a sports franchise is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay to buy it. Case in point. In 2014, Steve Ballmer decided to spend more than two billion dollars to buy the Los Angeles Clippers National Basketball Association franchise. Ballmer made a vanity purchase because he wanted a team. Again, a franchise is worth only what someone wants to pay to buy it. Sports franchises rarely are on the market and there was a notion the COVID-19 pandemic could change that thought. The pandemic and the United States’ high unemployment rate along with corporate cutbacks in employees should have had a significant impact on sports franchises. But it appears not to have happened.

For what it is worth, Forbes has the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys as sports most valuable team. Jerry Jones, who bought the franchise in 1989 for a reported $150 million, could, according to Forbes, get $5.7 billion for the team. Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees business is next at $5.25 billion. James Dolan’s New York Knicks National Basketball Association business clocks in at 5 billion dollars. Dolan pays no New York City property tax on his Madison Square Garden arena and is balking at the thought that cash strapped New York City may push legislation to make Dolan pay some property tax. The Barcelona soccer team is worth $4.76 billion. Another international football team, Real Madrid clocks in at $4.75 billion. The NBA’s San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors is franchise listed at $4.7 billion clocking in at number six. The NFL has 26 businesses in the Forbes top 50 most valuable teams’ evaluation.

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