What Is A Sports Franchise Really Worth?

Whatever money someone pays to purchase it.

Forbes Magazine has released its annual assessment of the sporting world’s most valuable businesses. It is a futile exercise because a sports franchise is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay to buy it. Case in point. In 2014, Steve Ballmer decided to spend more than two billion dollars to buy the Los Angeles Clippers National Basketball Association franchise. Ballmer made a vanity purchase because he wanted a team. Major League Baseball’s New York Mets franchise is up for sale. It would seem that the present Mets ownership would like a bidding war erupt between the three interested parties that want to buy Fred Wilpon’s business. Again, a franchise is worth only what someone wants to pay to buy it. Sports franchises rarely are on the market but the COVID-19 pandemic could change that thought. The pandemic and the United States’ high unemployment rate along with corporate cutbacks in employees could have a significant impact on sports franchises. Another factor, when will people be allowed to watch games in person and will people return eventually to sit in an arena?

For what it is worth, Forbes has the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys as sports most valuable team. Jerry Jones, who bought the franchise in 1989 for a reported $150 million, could according to Forbes get $5.5 billion for the team. Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees business is next at $5 billion. James Dolan’s New York Knicks National Basketball Association business clocks in at $4.6 billion. Dolan pays no New York City property tax on his Madison Square Garden arena. The NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers is fourth on the Forbes list at $4.4 billion, and the San Francisco-based NBA Golden State Warriors are listed at $4.3 billion clocking in at number five. The NFL has 27 businesses in the Forbes top 50 most valuable teams’ evaluation.

Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones AP