sports

The 26 Most Valuable Sports Teams In The World

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Despite the pandemic, the average value of the top 50 most valuable sports teams on the planet increased by 9.9% from 2020 to 2021, to a whopping $3.4 billion. Today, we’re taking a look at the top half of that list. Due to some ties in value, there are actually 27 teams on the list.

Of the list, 11 teams are in the NFL, seven are soccer teams, five are in the NBA and four are MLB teams.

1. Dallas Cowboys, $5.7 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owner: Jerry Jones

Within the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys have been the most valuable team since the late 2000s. When you take into consideration every sports team around, Real Madrid were the most valuable until 2016 when the Cowboys took over and they’ve been the most valuable team in the world ever since.

2. New York Yankees, $5.25 billion

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  • Sports league: MLB
  • Owners: Steinbrenner family

You don’t have to know the first thing about baseball to know the New York Yankees and recognise their world-famous logo that is often seen on fitted caps and snapbacks. Their branding alone makes it no surprise that they’re the only MLB team worth over $4 billion, at a whopping $5.25 billion. All this, despite the fact that the team’s last championship was nearly 15 years ago.

3. New York Knicks, $5 billion

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  • Sports league: NBA
  • Owner: Madison Square Garden Sports

The New York Knicks have been the most valuable team in the NBA for the best part of a decade. Through all of their struggles as a team, they remain beloved amongst New Yorkers. They took the spot as the most valuable NBA team from the Lakers when they signed an incredibly lucrative cable deal.

4. FC Barcelona, $4.76 billion

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  • Sports league: La Liga
  • Owners: Club members

Not only is Barcelona the fourth most valuable sports team in the world, the most valuable soccer team in the world and one of the few non-American teams on the list, but in terms of revenue, they are the world’s richest club, with an annual turnover of nearly $800 million.

5. Real Madrid CF, $4.75 billion

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  • Sports league: La Liga
  • Owners: Club members

Right behind Barcelona is their arch-rivals, Real Madrid, coming in with a valuation of $4.75 billion, just $10 million less than Barca. For those that don’t follow soccer and don’t understand the scope of it, it’s truly hard to fathom how big this Spanish team is. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, this team topped the list of the most valuable sports teams.

6. Golden State Warriors, $4.7 billion

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  • Sports league: NBA
  • Owners: Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber

From 2016 to 2020, the Golden State Warriors had a growth of 147% in value, one of the highest among the top 50 most valuable sports teams in the world. This is largely due to their championship success in that period and it made them the second most valuable team in the NBA, above even the great brand that is the L.A. Lakers.

Speaking of which…

7. Los Angeles Lakers, $4.6 billion

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  • Sports league: NBA
  • Owners: Jerry Buss Family Trusts and Phillip Anschutz

Not only is the purple and gold of the L.A. Lakers one of the best sports brands ever, but in 2012, the team signed a $4 billion, 20-year deal with Time Warner. This means that regardless of the trouble that they currently find themselves in, they won’t be losing any value or even growing at a much slower rate anytime soon.

8. New England Patriots, $4.4 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owner: Robert Kraft

The New England Patriots are the second most valuable team in the National Football League and this is still largely because of the Brady-Belichick era, but the franchise history of winning 6 Super Bowls and having arguably the best coach in league history also has a lot to do with it.

9. New York Giants, $4.3 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owners: John Mara and Steven Tisch

Although they haven’t had a great run in recent times, the New York Giants’ history and the simple fact that they’re a New York team puts them high up on this list here and 3rd on the list of the most valuable teams in their league.

10. FC Bayern Munich, $4.21 billion

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  • Sports league: Bundesliga
  • Owners: Club members

If you’re an American sports fan, then grasping the way that soccer leagues work can be confusing. Luckily, you can read up about it here. Essentially, the Bundesliga is the premier soccer league in Germany and Bayern Munich is not only the most valuable soccer team there but the most valuable sports team in the country as well.

11. Manchester United F.C., $4.2 billion

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  • Sports league: Premier League
  • Owners: Glazer family

Manchester United sat atop the list of the most valuable sports teams in 2010, 2011, and 2012, before they were knocked off the spot by Real Madrid. Even then, it took until 2019 for them to get knocked out of the top 5. Following the Munich air disaster in 1958, Matt Busby is credited with rebuilding the team and setting the foundation for what they have become in the subsequent decades.

12. Liverpool F.C., $4.1 billion

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  • Sports league: Premier League
  • Owners: Fenway Sports Group

Liverpool F.C. are very much a global brand and the team is notorious for having a lot of supporters all around the world. This is a large part of the reason that the team has a valuation of over $4 billion.

13. Los Angeles Rams, $4 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owner: Stanley Kroenke

From 2020 to 2021, the Los Angeles Rams had a whopping 20% increase in their value, which was 6% more than the NFL’s average in that same time period. When you consider that they’ve since won the Super Bowl, it’s safe to assume that that value might shoot up again in the next year.

13. Manchester City, $4 billion

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  • Sports league: Premier League
  • Owner: City Football Group

From 2016-2020, Manchester City saw a 108% growth in value, the 6th highest amongst the top 50 highest valued sports teams in the world. City became one of the top six in the 2010s and has since become a powerhouse not just in the Premier League or even soccer, but on the planet.

15. San Francisco 49ers, $3.8 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owners: Denise DeBartolo York and John York

The 49ers didn’t see as much growth from 2020 to 2021 as many of the other teams in the league did and they have a low operating income, but the San Francisco football team remains one of the most valuable teams in the NFL, and sports in general.

16. Los Angeles Dodgers, $3.57 billion

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  • Sports league: MLB
  • Owners: Guggenheim Baseball Management

The Los Angeles Dodgers are owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management who even if you haven’t heard of by name, you likely know the people associated with the brand. Of course, this team was originally the Brooklyn Dodgers and they moved to L.A. in the late 1950s. New York and L.A. are good homes for any teams, as the valuation shows.

17. New York Jets, $3.55 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owners: Johnson family

New York is a massive media market so in spite of the lack of success that the Jets have seen in recent years, they remain in a top spot with a value of just over $3.5 billion. 

18. Chicago Bears, $3.53 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owners: McCaskey family

A cool and unbelievable stat about the Chicago Bears when it comes to their value is that just over 100 years ago in 1920, they were purchased by George Halas for $100. No, that’s not a typo. That’s the equivalent of around $1,418, which is around a 249,000,000% increase in value.

19. Washington Commanders, $3.5 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owner: Daniel Snyder

The Washington Commanders don’t have a great reputation as of late but their recent acquisition of Carson Wentz could do something to change that. Their rebuild period could be coming to the end but despite it, from 2016 to 2020, their value increased by 23%.

20. Boston Red Sox, $3.47 billion

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  • Sports league: MLB
  • Owners: Fenway Sports Group

Since their establishment in 1901, the Red Sox have won 9 World Series, tied for the third-most in MLB history. Interestingly, they’re owned by the same owners as the aforementioned Liverpool F.C., Fenway Sports Group, whose client base includes LeBron James and Johnny Manziel amongst its clients.

21. Philadelphia Eagles, $3.4 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owner: Jeffrey Lurie

This might be a somewhat surprising entry in the list for people but for the Philadelphia Eagles, their passionate fanbase and their recent Super Bowl win has done a lot for their $3.4 billion valuation. 

22. Chicago Cubs, $3.36 billion

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  • Sports league: MLB
  • Owners: Ricketts family

The Cubbies were established in 1876 and have been an MLB team since 1994 and through their ups and downs, they remain a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the big bucks. In fact, in 2012 when the Cubs had a 61-101, they were the most profitable team in the league.

23. Houston Texans, $3.3 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owner: Janice McNair

Considering the Houston Texans are one of just four NFL teams to have never made it to the Super Bowl, they’re doing a great job here with their valuation of $3.3 billion. They were founded in 1999 and were owned then by Bob McNair who tragically passed away in 2018.

23. Chicago Bulls, $3.3 billion

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  • Sports league: NBA
  • Owner: Jerry Reinsdorf

A large part of the Chicago Bulls’ success over the years has of course been due to their championships in the mid-1990s and Michael Jordan specifically. When the team was bought in 1985, it was for $16.2 million. By the late 90s after their championship run, they were worth $307 million.

24. Denver Broncos, $3.2 billion

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  • Sports league: NFL
  • Owner: Pat Bowlen Trust

The Broncos are looking to be sold this year and there’s still no word on who the new owner could potentially be, but they’ll be paying close to $4 billion for the Denver team. On this list, they’re tied for 25th place with a couple of other teams in different leagues and sports entirely.

25. Boston Celtics, $3.2 billion

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  • Sports league: NBA
  • Owners: Wycliffe Grousbeck, Irving Grousbeck, Robert Epstein and Stephen Pagliuca

You might be surprised at this valuation and the fact that Boston have the fifth most valuable team in the NBA, but the Celtics have a long history and have consistent success to this day. They were one of the first teams to sign a jersey patch deal.

26. Chelsea F.C., $3.2 billion

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  • Sports league: Premier League
  • Owner: Roman Abramovich

Tied for 25th place with the Boston Celtics and the Denver Broncos are Chelsea F.C., with a valuation of $3.2 billion. They’re the 7th most valuable soccer team in the world and through current controversy with their ownership, they remain the fourth most valuable team in the Premier League.

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