New York —- Forbes released its annual list of The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams. American football team, Dallas Cowboys, valued at $4.8 billion, up 14% from $4.2 billion last year, remain the most valuable sports franchise in the world for the third consecutive year. The Cowboys have the highest revenue ($840 million) and earnings ($350 million) of any franchise.
Massive global followings propel a trio of soccer clubs to the next three spots, with Manchester United valued at $4.12 billion to No. 2, up 12%, Real Madrid valued at $4.09 billion to No. 3, up 14%, and Barcelona valued at $4.06 billion to No. 4, up 12%. Rounding out the top five is the New York Yankees, which was the world’s second most valuable team last year, worth $4 billion.
The world’s most valuable sports teams of 2018 are worth a cumulative $137 billion, and the average current value of these 50 teams is $2.74 billion, the highest to date, which is an increase over last year when the average value was $2.5 billion. The cost of admission is now $1.95 billion, up $200 million from last year.
Overall, there are 106 sports franchises worldwide worth at least $1 billion, up from 87 last year. The Houston Rockets (No. 40, worth $2.2 billion) are the biggest gainer, shooting up 14 spots after Tilman Fertitta closed on his deal to buy the team in October.
Fellow NBA teams, Brooklyn Nets (No. 36, worth $2.3 billion) and Golden State Warriors (No. 10, worth $3.1 billion), also jumped at least ten places, with the league’s international growth prospects the best of any U.S. sports league and big market franchises valued at record multiples of revenue.
“There has never been a better time to own a top-notch pro sports franchise,” said Kurt Badenhausen, Senior Editor, Forbes Media. “Blockbuster TV contracts and owner-friendly collective bargaining agreements are fueling record sale prices across major sports leagues.”
The National Football League is the most powerful sports league in the world, with lucrative broadcast contracts that are unmatched, landing 29 teams among the 50 most valuable sports franchises for the second straight year.
The National Basketball Association has eight teams, European soccer represents seven teams, and Major League Baseball has six teams on the list. No hockey, Formula One or Nascar teams made the cut.
Methodology: This list is based on Forbes’ valuations done in the past year for the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, F1, soccer and Nascar. Forbes’ team values are enterprise values (equity plus debt) based on current stadium deals (unless a new stadium is pending).
The World’s Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Teams
|2018 Rank||Team||Current Value ($bil)||2017 Rank||Sport|
|5||New York Yankees||4,000||2||MLB|
|6||New England Patriots||3,700||6||NFL|
|7||New York Knicks||3,600||7||NBA|
|8||Los Angeles Lakers||3,300||9||NBA|
|8||New York Giants||3,300||8||NFL|
|10||Golden State Warriors||3,100||20||NBA|
For the complete list, visit Forbes.com/most-valuable-teams