Jun 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman at a press conference before game one of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Bettman says NHL has teams worth more than Clippers


The Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion that will transfer ownership from Donald Sterling to Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, has everyone talking. That everyone includes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

While the NHL is rising in popularity across the United States, it’s hard to consider Bettman’s assessment as true.

According to Forbes latest evaluation of NHL teams in November of 2013, the NHL’s highest evaluated team was the Toronto Maple Leafs at $1.15 billion. Of the five highest evaluated teams, three of them were located in Canada (TOR, MON, VAN). The other two were the New York Rangers ($850 million) and the Chicago Blackhawks ($625 million). Compared to solely Forbes evaluations, each team mentioned was ranked higher than the Clippers last evaluation of ~$600 million.

But due to inflation, the upcoming television contracts between the NBA and ESPN/NBC/etc., and the current direction of the Clippers who have gone from bottom-dweller to championship contender in a matter of three seasons, the franchise value skyrocketed.

The last NHL team that was sold, the then-Atlanta Thrashers in 2011, sold for $170 million. That same year, the Philadelphia 76ers were sold nearly double the Thrasher’s price, costing $280 million.

Based on these numbers, if the NHL’s highest valued team in the Tonroto Maple Leafs were to be sold immediately, it’s hard seeing them topple the Clippers monstrous price tag of $2 billion, a tag that happens to be the second highest ever for a sports team behind the Los Angeles Dodgers who sold for $2.1 billion.

Besides it’s hockey. No one cares enough for a franchise to sell for that much.


Tags: Gary Bettman Los Angeles Clippers NBA NHL

  • Tom

    I think it could sell for that much… you have to remember that the controversy that Sterling was making was helping a lot because more people wanted to bid to stand up against racism, and there were a lot of suspected bidders. Also you underestimate how crazy hockey fans can be… hockey is one of Canada’s only sports that they excel in. You don’t have a choice up there to buy either a basketball or baseball or hockey shirt it’s more what hockey team you’re buying it for. That alone can lead to massive revenue… also Montreal Canadiens home games have been sold out consistently since January 2004, I mean it sold out pretty dam quickly when the game was in Boston and they were watching it on the jumbotron. Leafs sold out every game since October 2002. I think the bid on certain teams could go up pretty dam high… keep in mind the Leafs suck and its still sold out.

  • Scootermojo

    The NBA had 5 billion in revenue last year and the NHL is expected to have 4 billion in revenue this year….so apparently quite a few people care about hockey. In fact, the NHL has a higher average attendance than the NBA so perhaps more people care about hockey than basketball and the NBA. Oh, the writer of this story is black and since the NHL has very few black players (their choice, not the doing of “racists” as I’m sure this writer will say) it’s obviously a thinly veiled black on white racist comment.

    And another thing, Trisity, you illustrate your ignorance (and racism) with your comment that nobody cares that much about hockey once….you also illustrated your ignorance twice because the last team that was sold in the NHL was NOT the Winnipeg Thrasher…it was the Atlanta Thrashers (with an “s’ at the end….ignorant and apparently illiterate, too). When the team was moved to Winnipeg immediately after the sale it was renamed the Winnipeg Jets.

    Don’t be mad because it takes far more skill to play hockey than it does to play basketball which is primarily predicated on height rather than skill.

  • Grammar Police

    How are you even a writer? This is one of the most poorly written articles I’ve ever read. Even Microsoft Word has better grammar than you! “The last NHL team that was sold, the Winnipeg Thrasher in 2011, sold for $170 million. That same year, the Philadelphia 76ers were sold nearly double the Thrasher’s price, costing $280 million.” Yikes…