They may not have made the playoffs in 2017, but the team is still making money hand over fist. According to Forbes, the Cowboys aren’t just the most valuable sports team, they also pull in most revenue of any team. They made $840 million in 2017.
Despite sagging ratings and bad press from player protests during the national anthem, the NFL is still enormously popular (37 percent of Americans chose football as their favorite sport in a recent Gallup poll) and enormously profitable.
NFL teams dominate list of top 50
There are 50 teams on Forbes’ list, and more than half of them are from the NFL. Twenty-nine out of 32 NFL teams made the list, with just the Buffalo Bills, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions missing the cut. (The cutoff for this list was $1.95 billion, and those three teams are worth between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion.)
Football teams are so lucrative that even winning zero games doesn’t ding your team’s value too badly. The Cleveland Browns, who won zero out of 16 games in the 2017 season, still made the list at No. 50.
Knicks are highest-ranked NBA team
The other 21 teams on the list are a mix of MLB, NBA and soccer. The NBA leads the pack of non-football sports with eight teams, and the highest ranked basketball team is the New York Knicks at No. 7 (valued at $3.6 billion). The Los Angeles Lakers are right behind at No. 8, but they could find themselves higher next year with the signing of LeBron James, AKA the most popular basketball player on the planet.
Soccer is next with seven teams. Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona take up the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 spots on the list, beating out every other team in the world besides the Cowboys.
No surprise at top MLB team
MLB brings up the rear with six teams, and you’ll be shocked by the most valuable baseball team. OK, you won’t actually be shocked, because it’s the New York Yankees. MLB might have only six teams on this list, but the Yankees are the fifth most valuable sports team in the world at $4 billion. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox also made the list, all safely positioned in the top 20. The New York Mets made the list at No. 43, and considering their long history of financial mismanagement, their continuing value is a testament to how valuable a New York-based sports franchise is.
To be fair, MLB isn’t actually bringing up the rear in these rankings. No NHL teams were valued highly enough by Forbes to make the list, and the same is true of F1 and NASCAR. As they say in sports, there’s always next year.
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