After signing a 20-year TV deal with Time Warner Cable before last season, the Los Angeles Lakers became the most valuable NBA team in the league with a net worth of about $900 million. Even though that amount seems to be incredibly high being $100 million short of a $1 billion, the Lakers are pale comparison to other sports teams around the world in terms of net worth.
A list of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world was compiled by Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes.com with some shocking results. Six of the top 10 teams were from the United States, but the Lakers weren’t anywhere near the top.
Not only did the Lakers fail to make the top 10, but the storied NBA franchise didn’t even make it into the top 30 with a ranking of 35.
Top 10 Most Valuable Sports Teams
#10 Arsenal: $1.29 billion
There’s no shortage of valuable teams in the English Premier League with Liverpool and Manchester City making boatloads of money annually, but Arsenal remains the second most valuable in the EPL behind Manchester United.
#9 New York Giants: $1.3 billion
After winning a second Super Bowl title in the Eli Manning era, the Giants have become one of the most successful teams in the NFL over the past half-decade. New York is the fourth most valuable team in the league.
#8 FC Barcelona: $1.31 billion
Only Manchester United can draw comparison to Barcelona in terms of success over the last few years in Europe and it seems the dominant soccer club filled with talent on both sides of the pitch is also creeping up the ranks in terms of value as well as success.
#6 New England Patriots and Los Angeles Dodgers: $1.4 billion
Few teams in the NFL can compare to the success of the Patriots over the past decade or so. With superstar Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick leading the way, New England is one of the most popular and profitable teams in American football.
After the tyrannical reign of Frank McCourt, the Dodgers have entered a new era of baseball with a promising future and an impressive net worth.
#5 Washington Redskins: $1.56 billion
As arguably the biggest surprise in the top 10, the Redskins crack the top five without having much success in the NFL ever since Daniel Snyder bought the team. Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III may change their fortunes in the near future.
#3 New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys: $1.85 billion
The most valuable team in the MLB, outside of the Yankees and Dodgers, is the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees are worth $850 million more than their arch rivals ($1.0 billion). No competition within baseball and a lineup filled with superstars reflects that.
The Cowboys becoming the most valuable team in the NFL isn’t much of a shock with owner Jerry Jones doing everything within his power to make it that way.
#2 Real Madrid: $1.88 billion
Manchester United may be the top dog in Europe in terms of popularity and net worth, but not far behind is Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid. United and Madrid can be compared to the Yankees in terms of acquiring all the best players in the world on an annual basis with money being no object.
#1 Manchester United: $2.23 billion
As arguably the most popular soccer team in the world, Manchester United being at the top of this list was no surprise as Sir Alex Ferguson and company continue to bring in enormous profits while filling up the trophy case at Old Trafford.
Other surprising sports teams worth more than the Lakers on this list: Houston Texans (13), Indianapolis Colts (19), Denver Broncos (20), Miami Dolphins (22), Carolina Panthers (23), Seattle Seahawks (25), Kansas City Chiefs (28), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29), Cleveland Browns (30), Tennessee Titans (32), San Diego Chargers (33) and Arizona Cardinals (34)