The most valuable franchises in sports are the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, the Los Angeles Rams, the New York Yankees, and the New York Giants.
US franchises dominate Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports franchises at the end of 2022, with all top 10 teams being American.
The first non-American franchise is Real Madrid at thirteenth on the list, with a value of $5.1 billion.
National Football League (NFL) franchises dominate, with six of the top ten and the top three coming from the NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys top the list with a valuation of $8 billion. Jerry Jones bought the team for a mere $150 million in 1989.
Success on the field is not a prerequisite for a high value, with the Cowboys last appearing in a Super Bowl over two decades ago. They have won five Super Bowls, the last being in 1996.
The success of the New England Patriots, with Tom Brady as the quarterback and Bill Belichick as the coach, has catapulted them into second place. Robert Kraft bought the team for $172 million in 1994.
The franchise was worth $6.4 billion at the end of 2022.
The NFL’s rise to dominate the rankings has come with a decline in the presence of baseball teams, declining from 12 in the top 50 to only 5 in 2022.
There are no teams from cricket’s most lucrative league, the Indian Premier League, in the top 50.
The Mumbai Indians are the most valuable cricket franchise valued at $1.3 billion, below the top 50 cut-off of $3.1 billion.
The most valuable franchise in the English Premier League is Manchester United, ranked nineteenth at $4.6 billion. The Glazer family bought Man U for $1.4 billion in 2005.
Todd Boehly-led Clearlake Capital’s purchase of Chelsea Football Club for $5.4 billion in 2022 is the most expensive purchase of a sports franchise in history.
Chelsea is last on Forbes’ list, with a value of $3.1 billion. This is one of the few cases where a franchise is worth less than its purchase price.
Sports franchises have seen immense growth over the last five years, with their value growing on average by 78%.
The cheapest franchise in the top 10, in terms of the cost to purchase, is the Chicago Bears, bought in 1920 for a minuscule $100 by the McCaskey family.
The McCaskeys still own the Bears, but the value of the franchise grew to $5.8 billion at the end of 2022.
This example is one of many, with the Steinbrenner family also seeing a tremendous return on their purchase of the New York Yankees in 1973 for $8.8 million.
The top 10 most valuable sports franchises
|Dallas Cowboys||Jerry Jones||$8 billion|
|New England Patriots||Robert Kraft||$6.4 billion|
|Los Angeles Rams||Stanley Kroenke||$6.2 billion|
|New York Yankees||Steinbrenner family||$6 billion|
|New York Giants||John Mara and Steven Tisch||$6 billion|
|New York Knicks||Madison Square Garden Sports||$5.8 billion|
|Chicago Bears||McCaskey family||$5.8 billion|
|Golden State Warriors||Joe Lacob and Peter Guber||$5.6 billion|
|Washington Commanders||Daniel Snyder and Tanya Snyder||$5.6 billion|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Jerry Buss Family Trust, Todd Boehly, and Mark Walter||$5.5 billion|