A sports team is more than just athletes, stadiums, and games. It is also a business with a clear dollar value given by its revenues and expenses, media exposure, and deals. These, among others, are the criteria upon which the respectable business publication Forbes Magazine evaluates sports franchises around the world. The magazine didn’t focus on the sporting highlights 2017 had in store for us, instead taking a look at the factors that influenced the business part of sports, compiling a list of the most valuable NFL teams this year. As you might expect, the Dallas Cowboys is leading with a $4.8 billion value, which makes it the most valuable sports franchise in the world today. The Baltimore Ravens are currently #14 on the list, climbing five positions compared to 2014.
According to Forbes’ analysis, the Ravens’ value has grown by 9% compared to last year. The publication broke down the team’s value into Sport ($1.63 billion), Market ($392 million), Stadium ($302 million) and Brand ($173 million) value. According to its profile, the team had revenues of $403 million in the preceding period, operating income of $78 million, and has spent $214 million on its players. Its revenues for each fan were $57 (this was calculated by dividing the team’s revenues by the metro population).
Among the factors that contributed to the growth of the value of the team was its agreement to a three-year renovation deal for the M&T Bank Stadium, worth $144 million. The project will see the replacement of the end zone video boards with new, bigger ones, a brand new sound system, as well as new video boards mounted in the corners of the upper level. Besides, the Ravens are closing in on the completion of a project to upgrade and expand the team’s Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, a $45 million investment, which includes the purchase of more land around the facility in order to establish more parking space around it.
The top 5 NFL teams (by value) in 2017 are, according to Forbes Magazine, the Dallas Cowboys, with a value of $4.8 billion and operating income of $350 million, the New England Patriots with a value of $3.7 billion and operating income of $247 million, the New York Giants with a value of $3.3 billion and operating income of $131 million, the Washington Redskins with a value of $3.1 billion and operating income of $141 million, and the San Francisco 49ers with a value of $3.05 billion and operating income of $130 million. The Dallas Cowboys is the most valuable sports team in the world, followed by MLB team New York Yankees ($3.7 BN), English soccer team Manchester United ($3.69 BN), and Spanish soccer teams Barcelona ($3.64 billion) and Real Madrid ($3.58 billion).