From soccer to basketball, across Europe and America, these professional sports teams are winning titles and earning billions doing so. Here's a roundup of valuable franchises according to their worth.
San Francisco Giants – $3.18 Billion
With over 130 years in the league and 63 years based in San Francisco, the Giants have built a serious reputation in the MLB. In fact, they hold the record for most World Series appearances after reaching this final round a total of 20 times across the franchise's existence.
The team entered a new era in 1993 under the ownership of Charles Johnson, who bought the team for a reported $100 million. Since then, the Giants have improved in many ways, including rising in value by 41% during the past five years. According to Forbes, as of 2021, the team is worth $3.18 billion.
Las Vegas Raiders – $3.42 Billion
The Las Vegas Raiders have been a family business for most of their NFL existence. While still in Los Angeles, they were purchased by Al Davis in 1972, who remained owner up until his passing in 2011. Since then, Al's son, Mark Davis, has stepped in to guide the team in its new chapter in Las Vegas.
And while the 2021-2022 NFL season has brought some instability with the Raiders' coaching staff, one thing is for sure: This franchise is a powerhouse when it comes to bringing in the bucks. And for that reason, Forbes found this Las Vegas football team is worth roughly $3.42 billion.
Seattle Seahawks – $3.5 Billion
Starting off the roundup of our wealthy sports teams in the industry is none other than the Seattle Seahawks. This NFL team joined the league back in 1976 and has been a powerhouse in the NFC West division ever since.
The team was purchased by the late Paul Allen, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, but after his passing, the Seahawks transitioned to ownership by the Paul G. Allen Trust. Despite the upheaval, this Super Bowl-winning team is worth $3.5 billion, according to Forbes.
Chelsea – $3.2 Billion
With 116 years of experience, Chelsea F.C. has created a blueprint of success in the world of English Football. They are one of England's most successful clubs and hold six league titles and eight European trophies. And thanks to smart leadership, they've taken their success to new levels.
Chelsea was purchased by Roman Abramovich back in 2003, who applied his billionaire business savvy to the British team, growing their five-year change in value to an astounding 93%. And after purchasing the team for $233 million, the legendary football club has reached a value of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.
Chicago Cubs – $3.36 Billion
Chicago certainly loves their sports teams. From the Blackhawks to the Bears and White Sox, this Illinois metropolis is filled to the brim with iconic franchises. One of which includes 3x World Series champions the Chicago Cubs. They've been around as for as long as the league itself!
And with a reputation like that, it's not much of a surprise that the Cubs have as loyal of a fanbase as they come. Over the years, their value has only continued to rise, having climbed from $700 million in 2009 to $3.36 billion in 2021, according to Forbes.
Boston Red Sox – $3.47 Billion
The Boston Red Sox have emerged as an integral part of Major League Baseball since joining the American League's East division back in 1901 as a member of the league's eight charter franchises. Since then, they've taken home nine total World Series titles, most recently during the 2018 season.
Over the years, they've had numerous owners, ranging from wealthy individuals to trusts and corporations. But since 2002, they've been in the hands of John Henry and Tom Werner. And since purchasing the Red Sox for $380 million, their franchise value has risen to $3.47 billion, according to Forbes.
Boston Celtics – $3.55 Billion
Tying with Chelsea F.C. are the Boston Celtics, a legendary NBA team that has been dominating the NBA since joining the Association back in 1946. In their 75-year run, they have managed to bring home a total of 17 championship titles, most recently in 2008, ending a 20-year slump.
While loyal Celtics fans are waiting for another title to come their way, in the meantime, they have the comfort of knowing the business side of the franchise is doing better than ever. With a four-way ownership model, the team has reached an overall value of nearly $3.55 billion, as reported by Forbes.
Los Angeles Dodgers – $3.57 Billion
With such a legendary reputation in Los Angeles, it can be easy to forget that the Dodgers first joined the National League in 1883 in Brooklyn! But since the 1958 season, they've called LA home, and they continue to make their loyal fanbase proud with six post-relocation World Series titles.
In terms of business, the team with the 2020 Commissioner's Trophy has been doing just fine. After being purchased by Guggenheim Baseball Management in 2012 for $2 billion, the team's value has seen a five-year value increase of 43%, resulting in their current worth of $3.57 billion, according to Forbes.
Chicago Bulls – $3.65 Billion
Since joining the Association in 1966, the Chicago Bulls have been a core part of the city's identity. After winning six championships in under ten years with Michael Jordan, they carved a spot for themselves in NBA history. Some may argue their best days are behind them. Their financial status says otherwise.
The Bulls have had the same ownership since 1985 after being bought by Jerry Reinsdorf for $16.2 million. But today, according to Forbes, the favorite team for hometown heroes like Kanye West and Chance The Rapper is worth a hefty $3.65 billion, rising an impressive 43% over the past five years.
Houston Texans – $3.7 Billion
The newest franchise addition to the National Football League is the Houston Texans. The second NFL team to call Texas home, this NFL squad has been under the same ownership of the late Bob McNair and his wife, Janice, since before any of their current players stepped onto the field.
Despite being League rookies, they've made it to the playoffs a total of six times and have six division championships to their name since playing their first season back in 2002. And according to Forbes, they've climbed from a $700 million valuation in 1999 to $3.7 billion in 2021.
Denver Broncos – $3.75 Billion
From back-to-back Super Bowl title wins to double-digit playoff appearances, the Denver Broncos have been a force to reckon with in the National Football League since joining in 1959. And just like the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos are also owned by their late owner's trust, the Pat Bowlen Trust.
The team was bought back in 1984, and saw great success the following years, including their most recent championship win in 2015. On the business side, Forbes reports their loyal fan base and sponsorship deals have resulted in a total franchise value of $3.75 billion. Not bad for a $78 million buyback in 1984!
Philadelphia Eagles – $3.8 Billion
The Philadelphia Eagles may be a long-standing franchise in the NFL, but they also have a special connection to Hollywood. Their owner since 1994, Jeffrey Lurie, is a famous producer who has been moving the Eagles forward with his business-savvy and calculated approach.
With close to 30 playoff appearances and four league titles to their name, it's understandable how the team has risen from a value of $185 million in 1994 to a jaw-dropping $3.4 billion in 2021. According to Forbes, they've achieved a five-year boost of 42% in their overall value!
Manchester City – $4 Billion
Switching from professional leagues in America to overseas, the next valuable team in this roundup is none other than Manchester City. Whether you call it football or soccer, this team has brought immense pride to its fans for over 100 years. Man City dates back to 1880 when they first played as St. Mark's.
The names have come and gone, but the glory has stayed the same. From being crowned winners of the Football Association Cup to the UEFA Champions League, this team has always stayed in stride. Since being purchased in 2008 for $385 million, the team's value has risen to $4 billion, as stated by Forbes.
New York Jets – $4.05 Billion
While they originally joined the American Football League (AFL) in 1959 as the Titans of New York, they quickly changed their name to the Jets before joining the NFL post-merger. Many believe the team is working through a longtime slump, but dedicated fans hope they'll prove the doubters wrong and snag the Lombardi Trophy soon.
Since 2000, the Jets have been under the ownership of Woody and Christopher Johnson, who belong to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire. While the brothers bought the team for $635 million over two decades ago, they've seen the franchise value skyrocket up to $4.05 billion, per Forbes.
Chicago Bears – $4.075 Billion
Next is one of the NFL's founding franchises, the Chicago Bears. Founded in 1920, the team has stood the test of time for over a century, as they've brought home close to twenty divisional championships and nine league title victories, both before and after the merger between the NFL and AFL.
Unlike some of the teams on the list who have been purchased more recently, the Bears have stayed in the McCaskey family for over a century! They were bought back in 1920 for a shocking $100, and have since climbed to a value of $4.075 billion, according to Forbes.
Liverpool – $4.1 Billion
With 19 league titles and seven FA Cups, Liverpool F.C. is a force to be reckoned with in the world of European football. They were founded 129 years ago and since then have been amassing a larger-than-life fanbase and aura. But what do they have to do with another team here, the Boston Red Sox?
Well, just like the MLB team, Liverpool is owned by Fenway Sports Group, aka John Henry and Thomas Werner. This parent company bought the British soccer team back in 2010 for $476 million and has seen its value continue to jump. Currently, Forbes estimates their worth to be $4.1 billion.
San Francisco 49ers – $4.175 Billion
The 49ers brought city pride to the people of San Francisco as the city's first professional sports team. They joined the All-American Football Conference back in 1946 and later joined the NFL post-merger in 1950. They've competed in the NFC West since 1970, now alongside the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams.
While the division championships have been plentiful, the 49ers, unfortunately, haven't managed to bring home a Super Bowl win since 1994. But what they lack in championship rings they certainly make up for in cash. According to Forbes, this franchise is worth roughly $4.175 billion.
Washington Football Team – $4.2 Billion
Don't recognize the name? That's because up until 2019, this NFL team played under the moniker Washington Redskins. The branding may have changed, but the on-field legacy of this squad has stayed the same. Over 89 years, they've claimed numerous titles, including three Super Bowl championships.
Since 1999, they've been under the ownership of an ultra-wealthy businessman, Daniel Snyder. He purchased the team over 20 years ago for just $750 million and has seen the franchise's value rise to $4.2 billion, according to Forbes. That's taking into account a five-year value increase of 23%.
Manchester United – $4.2 Billion
Next up on the list is Liverpool's fierce rival team, Manchester United. This Premier League team was founded back in 1878 under the name Newton Heath, but has been playing as Man U since 1902. They also hold the record for the most wins in the First Division, with 20 under their belt.
The Glazer family has owned the team since 2005 and has seen their $1.4 billion purchase rise to a value of $4.2 billion, according to Forbes. And with Cristiano Rolado returning to the team, fans expect things to only get bigger and better in the 2021 season.
Bayern Munich – $4.21 Billion
With 31 national titles to its name, Bayern Munich is commonly recognized as the most successful club in all of Germany's history. They've certainly come a long way since being founded in 1900 by only 11 soccer players, especially considering their nine-year winning streak dating back to 2013.
Interestingly, the club is owned by individual members rather than a primary owner or corporation. However, Forbes reported that Bayern Munich has experienced a five-year value change of 57%, in addition to sitting at a current overall value of $4.21 billion. Only a couple of other soccer teams can compare!
Los Angeles Rams – $4.8 Billion
From Cleveland to St. Louis to Los Angeles, the Rams have called many American cities home. They first joined the American Football League in 1936 and since then have made it to the NFL playoffs a total of 30 times, most recently during the 2019-2020 season.
They were purchased back in 2010 for $750 million by Stanley Kroenke, whose business is a primary holding company of other high-profile sports teams like the Denver Nuggets, Arsenal F.C., and more. Today, Forbes estimates the Rams' value hovers around $4.8 billion. Doesn't hurt to play near Hollywood!
New York Giants – $4.85 Billion
While they share a stadium with the New York Jets, the Giants are in a league of their own when it comes to financial success. According to Forbes, this NFL franchise is worth an astounding $4.85 billion. That's quite the increase in value considering they were acquired for just $150 million in 1991!
Though some may describe the Giants' recent history as turbulent, they were purchased back in 1991 by John Mara and Steve Tisch, a renowned film producer and son of former co-owner Bob Tisch. With four Super Bowl titles to their name, Giants fans can't wait to see what's next!
Real Madrid – $4.75 Billion
For over a century, Real Madrid (known in Spain as Real Madrid Club de Fútbol) has been dominating the world at football at every level. From 34 domestic titles to back-to-back-to-back FIFA wins, Real Madrid is a force to be reckoned with. And they have something in common with Bayern Munich.
Just like their German rivals, Real Madrid is owned by their club members, rather than a third party. They boast a 30% five-year value change and, according to Forbes, are worth a total of $4.75 billion. But if you thought that was a lot of cash, just wait to see who comes next.
Barcelona – $4.76 Billion
Coming in fifth place is another UEFA Champions League rival, F.C. Barcelona. This legendary team not only competes at the European level but also dominates in Spain's domestic league known as La Liga. Combined, they hold title records for seven different competitions.
They too have opted for club member ownership rather than outside parties and have nevertheless experienced an enormous rise in value thanks to brand sponsorships, merchandise, and so much more. According to Forbes, this 121-year-old team is worth $4.76 billion!
New England Patriots – $5 Billion
With one of the most polarizing reputations in the NFL, the New England Patriots have made quite the name for themselves throughout their 61 years of existence. And with 27 playoff appearances and six Super Bowl wins, they make for some stiff competition.
The team was bought by Robert Kraft in 1994 for $172 million and has since risen in value to nearly $5 billion, according to Forbes. In addition to being a franchise owner, Kraft also owns a Major League Soccer (MLS) team, the New England Revolution, as well as the stadium where both teams compete.
New York Yankees – $5.25 Billion
Snagging the spot of the third wealthiest sports team in the world is the one and only New York Yankees, pinstripes and all. Despite getting their start in Baltimore back in 1901, the Yankees have called NYC – specifically The Bronx borough – home since 1903, making them the oldest professional team in the busy metropolis.
The Steinbrenner family purchased the Yankees in 1973 for an eye-catching $8.8 million. Today, they fall under the same ownership structure via Yankee Global Enterprises, with Hal Steinbrenner serving as chairman. According to Forbes, their current value sits at a total of $5.25 billion.
Los Angeles Lakers – $5.5 Billion
From the moment the Lakers set up base in Los Angeles, they've brought the city pride and countless highlights. The 12 championship titles with Kareem Abduul-Jabaar, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James helps, too. Most recently, the Lakers took home the Larry O'Brien trophy after an incredible 2020 season.
They leverage a multi-party ownership structure which includes the Buss Family Trusts, Jeanie Buss, Philip Anschutz, Edward P. Roski and Patrick Soon-Shiong. Since their $20 million valuation in 1979, Forbes found their worth has climbed to $5.5 billion with a five-year escalation of 70%!
Golden State Warriors – $5.6 Billion
Moving slightly upstate, the next finalist in this long line of valuable sports teams is none other than the Golden State Warriors. This longstanding and dynamic NBA team has been battling it out on the court since joining back in 1946, thought at first based in Philadelphia.
The team was purchased by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber – two rich business executives – back in 2010 for $450 million. Per Forbes, their investment has paid off in a major way, as the 6x NBA championship winners are now worth $5.6 billion! Yet there's one basketball team that tops them.
New York Knicks – $5.8 Billion
Coming in second place is the most valuable franchise in the NBA, the New York Knicks. They've been around since 1946, but unlike many other professional teams, the Knicks have always called New York home. In fact, their owners are affiliated with their home arena, Madison Square Garden.
Originally called the Knickerbockers, they were purchased back in 1997 when the MSG holding company coughed up $300 million. Today, Forbes estimates the 2x NBA championship winners are worth a total of $5.8 billion. Plus, it's reported they sit with a five-year value adjustment of 67%.
Dallas Cowboys – $6.5 Billion
From football to soccer, baseball to basketball, the No. 1 professional team with the highest value is none other than the Dallas Cowboys. This NFL institution is a force of nature both on the field and in the bank. Making their status even more impressive, they've only been around since 1960!
They were most recently purchased by an American billionaire named Jerry Jones, who attends every game. Back in 1989, the Los Angeles-born tycoon paid just $150 million to make the Cowboys his own. These days, Forbes thinks the 5x Super Bowl champs are worth about $6.5 billion.