Most Valuable Sports Team 2017

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The cutoff to qualify among the world’s most valuable sports franchises is higher than ever, up 18% this year to $1.75 billion. There are 36 franchises worth at least $1 billion that did not make the top 50. Credit soaring TV contracts for the rising franchise values, as well as labor deals with players that almost ensure profitability barring outrageous spending on payroll by an owner.

Only the Dallas Cowboys are worth more than Aaron Judge’s New York Yankees among the world’s richest sports teams. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

No sports league is as profitable as the NFL where the average team earned an operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $91 million and no one banked less than $26 million. The boffo profits helped 29 NFL teams rank among the 50 most valuable franchises (only the Bengals, Lions and Bills missed the cut). Other sports include eight MLB clubs and seven each from the NBA and European soccer.

The Dallas Cowboys lead for the second straight year at $4.2 billion. Jerry Jones’ team unseated Real Madrid last year as the most valuable sports team. The Spanish soccer powerhouse had ranked No. 1 for three straight years.

 Below is the full list of the most valuable teams across all sports (51 this year thanks to a tie at $1.75 billion between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). Values are based on Forbes valuations done over the past year for NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, F1, soccer and Nascar (no NHL, F1 or Nascar teams made the top 50).

Rank, Team, Value, 1-Yr change (Sport)

1. Dallas Cowboys, $4.2 billion, 5% (NFL)

2. New York Yankees, $3.7 billion, 9% (MLB)

3. Manchester United, $3.69 billion, 11% (Soccer)

4. Barcelona, $3.64 billion, 2% (Soccer)

5. Real Madrid, $3.58 billion, -2% (Soccer)

6. New England Patriots, $3.4 billion, 6% (NFL)

7. New York Knicks, $3.3 billion, 10% (NBA)

8. New York Giants, $3.1 billion, 11% (NFL)

9. San Francisco 49ers, $3 billion, 11% (NFL)

9. Los Angeles Lakers, $3 billion, 11% (NBA)

11. Washington Redskins, $2.95 billion, 4% (NFL)

12. Los Angeles Rams, $2.9 billion, 100% (NFL)

13. New York Jets, $2.75 billion, 6% (NFL)

13. Los Angeles Dodgers, $2.75 billion, 10% (MLB)

15. Bayern Munich, $2.71 billion, 1% (Soccer)

16. Chicago Bears, $2.7 billion, 10% (NFL)

16. Boston Red Sox, $2.7 billion, 17% (MLB)

18. Chicago Cubs, $2.68 billion, 22% (MLB)

19. San Francisco Giants, $2.65 billion, 18% (MLB)

20. Houston Texans, $2.6 billion, 4% (NFL)

20. Golden State Warriors, $2.6 billion, 37% (NBA)

22. Philadelphia Eagles, $2.5 billion, 4% (NFL)

22. Chicago Bulls, $2.5 billion, 9% (NBA)

24. Denver Broncos, $2.4 billion, 24% (NFL)

25. Miami Dolphins, $2.38 billion, 28% (NFL)

26. Green Bay Packers, $2.35 billion, 21% (NFL)

27. Baltimore Ravens, $2.3 billion, 19% (NFL)

28. Pittsburgh Steelers, $2.25 billion, 18% (NFL)

29. Seattle Seahawks, $2.25 billion, 19% (NFL)

30. Minnesota Vikings, $2.2 billion, 38% (NFL)

30. Boston Celtics, $2.2 billion, 5% (NBA)

32. Indianapolis Colts, $2.18 billion, 16% (NFL)

33. Atlanta Falcons, $2.13 billion, 27% (NFL)

34. Oakland Raiders, $2.1 billion, 47% (NFL)

35. Manchester City, $2.083 billion, 8% (Soccer)

36. Los Angeles Chargers, $2.08 billion, 36% (NFL)

37. Carolina Panthers, $2.075 billion, 33% (NFL)

38. Arizona Cardinals, $2.025 billion, 31% (NFL)

39. Tennessee Titans, $2 billion, 34% (NFL)

39. Los Angeles Clippers, $2 billion, 0% (NBA)

39. New York Mets, $2 billion, 21% (MLB)

42. Jacksonville Jaguars, $1.95 billion, 32% (NFL)

43. Arsenal, $1.93 billion, -4% (Soccer)

44. Kansas City Chiefs, $1.88 billion, 23% (NFL)

45. Cleveland Browns, $1.85 billion, 23% (NFL)

46. Chelsea, $1.845 billion, 11% (Soccer)

47. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $1.8 billion, 19% (NFL)

47. Brooklyn Nets, $1.8 billion, 6% (NBA)

47. St Louis Cardinals, $1.8 billion, 12% (MLB)

50. New Orleans Saints, $1.75 billion, 16% (NFL)

50. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, $1.75 billion, 31% (MLB)

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