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Published: Dec. 20, 2021

The Richest Team in American Sports


It’s no secret that the world of pro sports in the U.S. has turned into an arms race. But it’s not just about getting the best players and winning championships. It’s also about increasing the value of the franchise, which can go beyond what happens on the field. Of course, that begs the question of what team is the richest in American sports. Let’s take a look at the list and see what team is on top.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers

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The Dodgers narrowly edge out the Jets for the no. 10 spot on our list with a value of $3.57 billion. The Guggenheim Baseball Management group bought the team for $2 billion in 2012 and has poured a lot of resources into the team. Magic Johnson and Billie Jean King are among the star-studded ownership group that has helped increase the value of the Dodgers and made them one of the best teams in the majors.

9. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have been the property of Denise DeBartolo York and her husband John since 1977 when they purchased the franchise for just $13 million. Today, the 49ers are worth $3.8 billion. Not only has the value of the franchise increased substantially under the Yorks, but the 49ers have also won five Super Bowls, which is a big reason why they are one of the most valuable teams in American sports.

8. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams were purchased in 2010 by Stan Kroenke for a mere $750 million, and just over a decade later, the franchise is valued at around $4 billion. That’s a nice profit margin for Kroenke, who also owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, and Arsenal Football Club in England. It was also Kroenke’s decision to move the Rams back to Los Angeles, which has no doubt helped their value.

7. New York Giants

The Giants have been owned by the Mara family since they were founded in 1923 by Tim Mara, who is the grandfather of current co-owner John Mara. Of course, Steve Tisch and his father, Bob Tisch, have also had a large stake in the team. Between the Mara family and the Tisch family, they have built a franchise that’s valued at $4.3 billion.

6. New England Patriots

A quarter-century ago, the Patriots probably wouldn’t have been anywhere near the top of this list. Robert Kraft paid just $172 million to buy the team in 1994. But if you spend 20 years with a Hall of Fame coach and a Hall of Fame quarterback, winning a handful of Super Bowls along the way, suddenly you’re worth $4.4 billion. That’s how the Patriots have become one of the most valuable franchises in the NFL. If only every team could do the same.

5. Los Angeles Lakers

At $4.6 billion, the Lakers crack the top-five in terms of value. Jerry Buss still has a controlling interest in the franchise after paying just $20 million in 1979. Philip Anschutz has also come on board as a minority owner of the Lakers and a stakeholder in the iconic Staples Center. With the history and tradition that the Lakers have, not to mention their continued commitment to winning, it’s not surprising to see the Lakers as one of the most valuable franchises in sports. 

4. Golden State Warriors

Winning can have a big impact on value, as a few championships have made the Warriors the second most valuable team in the NBA, even surpassing the Lakers. The Warriors are currently valued at $4.7 billion, up 147% from five years ago. The franchise has thrived under owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber, who paid $450 million for the Warriors in 2010. Since then, the Warriors have won three titles and moved into a new arena.

3. New York Knicks

The Knicks are living proof that success between the lines has nothing to do with value. The Knicks are worth $5 billion, with that value increasing by 67% over the last five years. Of course, during those five years, the Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the NBA. Yet, the Knicks still have a proud lineage, and they still play in Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. The team was purchased by James Dolan and Madison Square Garden Sports for $300 million in 1997, and while the team hasn’t gotten any better, the value of the Knicks has skyrocketed. Dolan and MSG Sports also own the NHL’s Rangers and the WNBA’s Liberty.

2. New York Yankees

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The Bronx Bombers won’t quite make it to no. 1, but they’re close and clearly the most valuable MLB franchise. The Yankees were initially purchased in 1973 by George Steinbrenner for $8.8 million in 1973. The Steinbrenner family has had a controlling interest in the franchise ever since, even after “The Boss” passed away in 2010. Today, the Yankees are worth $5.25 billion, increasing by 54% over the last five years. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt to be the country’s biggest city and media market, but the Yankees have also been building a fanbase for over a century and have 27 world championships under their belt.

1. Dallas Cowboys

Not surprisingly, the Cowboys are the most valuable franchise in American sports. After all, they are America’s Team, at least according to some. Jerry Jones bought the team for a modest sum of $150 million in 1989 and has turned it into a mega-franchise that’s valued at around $5.7 billion. While recent on-field success hasn’t exactly been there, the Cowboys did win multiple Super Bowls during the 90s. They also have one of the most impressive venues ever created, which certainly adds plenty of value to the franchise.


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