Every year Forbes releases a Top 50 list of the world’s most valuable franchise. The list was dominated by the NFL, who accounted for 30 out of the 50 teams. Only 3 NBA teams made the list overall.
The highest valued NBA franchise was the New York Knicks at #23 with a $1.1 billion value.
The Knicks’ home arena, Madison Square Garden, is in the final stages of a $980 million renovation, to be completed this summer. In May, the Knickerbockers won their first playoff series since 1999.
The Los Angeles Lakers were tied at #31 with a $1 billion value. The Chicago Bulls were the only other team to crack the list, barely, at #47. They were valued at $800 million.
The Lakers are in a transition phase with the February death of team patriarch Jerry Buss. He bought the Lakers in 1979 for $20 million and led the team to 16 NBA Finals appearances. The Lakers’ revenue surged this past season in the first year of their new television deal with Time Warner Cable, which could be worth $5 billion over 25 years.
The Bulls led the league in attendance for a fourth straight year with an average of 21,876 per game. Although, the TV audience on CSN Chicago fell 29% as the team was forced to play without 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose, who missed the entire season recovering from ACL surgery
The average team is worth $1.24 billion, up 16% from last year. The are 33 teams worth more than $1 billion versus 24 in 2012. Two years ago no team passed $2 billion, now there are 5 over that threshold including 2 over $3 billion.
The NHL was the only one of the 4 big North American sports to have less teams on the list. The only franchise to make the list where the Toronto Maple Leafs.