These days, it’s good to be an NBA owner. Franchise values are soaring thanks to increased television revenue and the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, which caps the amount of money split with the players and includes plenty of revenue sharing to bolster the league’s less-profitable franchises by taking some from those who are raking in the cash, like the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Forbes, the Lakers are currently worth a whopping $3.3 billion dollars, which leaves them second to only the New York Knicks in NBA franchise value.
In the world, however, the Lakers land in the eighth spot behind soccer powerhouses like Real Madrid, Manchester United, and FC Barcelona. At the top of the 2018 Forbes most valuable franchises list are the Dallas Cowboys, who are pegged as being worth $4.8 billion.
The Lakers, who benefit from a rich history and a legion of fans around the world, figure to become even more valuable now that they have signed LeBron James in free agency.
Since the retirement of Kobe Bryant, the team has been searching for a new star to build around, and with James in town, ticket prices are projected to go up by roughly 75 percent.
On top of that, the Lakers are expected to end a five-year playoff drought, which provides an additional revenue boost, not to mention the revenue brought in by all of the James-related merchandise that has been flying off the shelves.
The team is owned primarily by the Buss family, who inherited it from the late Dr. Jerry Buss, who purchased the team, the building that they played in (The Forum), the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, and a large ranch for a total purchase price of $67.5 million.
Even if adjusted for inflation, that’s roughly $230 million today, while the Lakers alone are now worth $3.3 billion. Not a bad return on investment.