The 40 Most Valuable North American Sports Franchises

Written by Carly Hallman

Each year, Forbes publishes their list of the most valuable professional sports franchises. For the fifth straight year, the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) grabbed the top spot, having been valued at $5.5 billion, which is just slightly higher than the worth of the New York Yankees. In 1989, Jerry Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys for $150 million, and over the past 31 years, the franchise has seen growth of 3,566.66%.

Here’s a guide to the 40 most valuable professional sports franchises in the United States (as of 2020).

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The 40 Most Valuable American Sports Franchises Transcript

Ranking Franchise Worth Year Purchased Purchase Price Owner
1 Dallas Cowboys (NFL) $5.5B 1989 $150M Jerry Jones
2 New York Yankees (MLB) $5B 1973 $8.8M Steinbrenner Family
3 New York Knicks (NBA) $4.6B 1997 $300M Madison Square Garden Company
4 Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) $4.4B 1998 $268M Philip Anschutz
5 Golden State Warriors (NBA) $4.3B 2010 $450M Joe Lacob and Peter Guber
6 New England Patriots (NFL) $4.1B 1994 $172M Robert Kraft
7 New York Giants (NFL) $3.9B 1991 $150M Steven Tisch
8 Los Angeles Rams (NFL) $3.8B 2010 $750M Stanley Kroenke
9 San Francisco 49ers (NFL) $3.5B 1977 $13M Denise DeBartolo and John York
10 Chicago Bears (NFL) $3.45B 1920 $100 McCaskey Family
11 Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) $3.4B 2012 $2B Guggenheim Baseball Management
Washington Football Team (NFL) $3.4B 1999 $750M Daniel Snyder
13 Boston Red Sox (MLB) $3.3B 2002 $380M John Henry and Thomas Werner
14 Chicago Bulls (NBA) $3.2B 1985 $16.2M Jerry Reinsdorf
Chicago Cubs (MLB) $3.2B 2009 $700M Ricketts Family
New York Jets (NFL) $3.2B 2000 $635M Johnson Family
17 Boston Celtics (NBA) $3.1B 2002 $360M Wycliffe and Irving Grousebeck, Robert Epstein, and Stephen Pagliuca
Houston Texans (NFL) $3.1B 1999 $600M Janice McNair
San Francisco Giants (MLB) $3.1B 1993 $100M Charles Johnson
20 Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) $3.05B 1994 $185M Jeffrey Lurie
21 Denver Broncos (NFL) $3B 1984 $78M Pat Bowlen Trust
22 Las Vegas Raiders (NFL) $2.9B 1966 $180K Mark Davis
23 Green Bay Packers (NFL) $2.85B 1921 $100 Shareholder-Owned
24 Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) $2.8B 1933 $2,500 Daniel Rooney Trust and Arthur Rooney II
25 Seattle Seahawks (NFL) $2.78B 1997 $194M Paul G. Allen Trust
26 Miami Dolphins (NFL) $2.76B 2008 $1.1B Stephen Ross
27 Atlanta Falcons (NFL) $2.755B 2002 $545M Arthur Blank
28 Baltimore Ravens (NFL) $2.75B 2004 $600M Stephen Bisciotti
29 Minnesota Vikings (NFL) $2.7B 2005 $600M Zygmunt Wilf
30 Indianapolis Colts (NFL) $2.65B 1972 $14M James Irsay
31 Los Angeles Clippers (NBA) $2.6B 2014 $2B Steve Ballmer
32 Brooklyn Nets (NBA) $2.5B 2019 $3.3B Joseph Tsai
Los Angeles Chargers (NFL) $2.5B 1984 $72M Dean Spanos
34 Houston Rockets (NBA) $2.48B 2017 $2.2B Tilman Fertitta
Carolina Panthers (NFL) $2.4B 2018 $2.28B David Tepper
Dallas Mavericks (NBA) $2.4B 2000 $280M Mark Cuban
New York Mets (MLB) $2.4B 2002 $391M Fred & Jeff Wilpon, Saul Katz
38 Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) $2.33B 2011 $770M Shahid Khan
39 Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) $2.3B 1960 $25K Lamar Hunt Family
40 New Orleans Saints (NFL) $2.28B 1985 $70.2M Gayle Benson

The Value of Professional Sports Leagues in America:

  1. National Football League (NFL): $13 billion
  2. Major League Baseball (MLB): $10 billion
  3. National Basketball Association (NBA): $7.4 billion
  4. National Hockey League (NHL): $4.43 billion

Sources:

Four of the top 40 most valuable sports franchises in the United States call New York home. As of 2020, here are the 40 most valuable North American sports franchises:

  1. Dallas Cowboys (NFL): $5.5 billion
  2. New York Yankees (MLB): $5 billion
  3. New York Knicks (NBA): $4.6 billion
  4. Los Angeles Lakers (NBA): $4.4 billion
  5. Golden State Warriors (NBA): $4.3 billion
  6. New England Patriots (NFL): $4.1 billion
  7. New York Giants (NFL): $3.9 billion
  8. Los Angeles Rams (NFL): $3.8 billion
  9. San Francisco 49ers (NFL): $3.5 billion
  10. Chicago Bears (NFL): $3.45 billion
  11. Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB): $3.4 billion
  12. Washington Football Team (NFL): $3.4 billion
  13. Boston Red Sox (MLB): $3.4 billion
  14. Chicago Bulls (NBA): $3.2 billion
  15. Chicago Cubs (MLB): $3.2 billion
  16. New York Jets (NFL): $3.2 billion
  17. Boston Celtics (NBA): $3.1 billion
  18. Houston Texans (NFL): $3.1 billion
  19. San Francisco Giants (MLB): $3.1 billion
  20. Philadelphia Eagles (NFL): $3.05 billion
  21. Denver Broncos (NFL): $3 billion
  22. Las Vegas Raiders (NFL): $2.9 billion
  23. Green Bay Packers (NFL): $2.85 billion
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL): $2.8 billion
  25. Seattle Seahawks (NFL): $2.78 billion
  26. Miami Dolphins (NFL): $2.75 billion
  27. Atlanta Falcons (NFL): $2.755 billion
  28. Baltimore Ravens (NFL): $2.75 billion
  29. Minnesota Vikings (NFL): $2.7 billion
  30. Indianapolis Colts (NFL): $2.65 billion
  31. Los Angeles Clippers (NBA): $2.6 billion
  32. Brooklyn Nets (NBA): $2.5 billion
  33. Los Angeles Chargers (NFL): $2.5 billion
  34. Houston Rockets (NBA): $2.48 billion
  35. Carolina Panthers (NBA): $2.4 billion
  36. Dallas Mavericks (NBA): $2.4 billion
  37. New York Mets (MLB): $2.4 billion
  38. Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL): $2.33 billion
  39. Kansas City Chiefs (NFL): $2.3 billion
  40. New Orleans Saints (NFL): $2.28 billion

While the majority of the franchises named initially cost millions of dollars when they were purchased, some were actually bought for very little money. Here are five franchises that were purchased for less than $200,000.

  1. Chicago Bears (NFL): $100 (1920)
  2. Green Bay Packers (NFL): $100 (1921)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL): $2,500 (1933)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (NFL): $25,000 (1960)
  5. Las Vegas Raiders (NFL): $180,000 (1966)

Here are some additional facts about the most valuable professional sports franchises in America:

  • Of the four major sports in America (football, baseball, basketball, and hockey), 25 of the 40 franchises are from the National Football League (62.5%). Nine of the franchises are from the National Basketball Association (22.5%), and six come from Major League Baseball (15%). The National Hockey League did not have one of their franchises crack the top 40.
  • Only two of the owners from this list own multiple sports franchises. Stanley Kroenke owns four: the Los Angeles Rams (eighth most valuable American sports franchise), the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids, and the Arsenal soccer club. Shahid Khan owns two: the Jacksonville Jaguars (38th most valuable sports franchise in the U.S.) and Fulham F.C.
  • Even in the top 50 most valuable franchises, there is no representation from the National Hockey League, NASCAR, Major League Soccer, or Formula One.
  • New York has more franchises within the top 40 than any other sports city, at five: the New York Yankees (second), New York Knicks (third), New York Giants (seventh), New York Jets (tied for 14th), and New York Mets (tied for 34th).

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