MLB’s MVFs (Most Valuable Franchises) Led By Yankees ($4B), Dodgers ($3B), Cubs
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 10:03PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, MLB, New York Yankees, finances

By Barry Janoff

April 11, 2018: The New York Yankees are the most valuable team in MLB, with a price tag put at $4 billion.

Good news for franchise owners, who this season added Giancarlo Stanton and his annual average $25 million contract, and have a team salary of more than $190.7 million.

That salary would be second in MLB only to the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a payroll at about $196.6 million, according to industry analysts.

Although tops in MLB in value, that still leaves the Yankees second behind the most valuable sports franchise in the world, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, valued at more than $4.2 billion, according to Forbes.

Something that many of the top-valued MLB teams have in common is a recent World Series title or appearance.

The Dodgers, valued No. 2 at $3 billion, played in the Fall Classic last season, losing to the Houston Astros, ranked No. 11 with a $1.65 billion value.

No. 3 on the list is the Chicago Cubs, winners of the 2016 World Series, valued at $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

The San Fransisco Giants are No. 4, valued at $2.85 billion, and winners of the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

The Boston Red Sox, valued at $2.8 billion, round out the Top Five; the team was World Series champs in 2004, 2007 and most recently in 2013.

Although the Yankees have not won a World Series since 2009, they have 27 titles to their name, average more than 3 million in attendance per year and last season won 91 games, the team’s highest total since 2012 (95).

According to Forbes writer Mike Ozanian, “The Bronx Bombers generate by far the most revenue — $619 million last season. The value of the Yankees has compounded annually at 15% since a group led by George Steinbrenner paid $8.8 million for the team in 1973.”

Steinbrenner's sons, Hal and Hank, are co-chairmen for team owner Yankee Global Enterprises.

The average value of MLB teams is $1.645 billion, up 7% from last year, and average revenue was up almost 5%; but operating income was down 17%, per Forbes.

By comparison, NFL franchises are worth an average of $2.5 billion and NBA teams are worth an average of $1.65B, with all 30 franchises hitting the $1B mark for the first time, with the New York Knicks ($3.6 billion) topping the list.

Pulling down the average MLB franchise value, according to Forbes, are the Bottom Five.

That includes No. 26 Oakland A’s ($1.02 billion), No. 27 Kansas City Royals ($1.015 billion, World Series losers in 2014 but World Champs in 2015), No. 28 Cincinnati Reds ($1.01 billion), No. 29 Miami Marlins ($1 billion) and No. 30 Tampa Bay Rays ($900 million).

According to Forbes, “Average revenue and operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for MLB’s 30 teams were $315 million and $29 million, respectively, for the 2017 season. Revenue was up 4.7% from 2016 mainly due to more television, premium seating and sponsorship money.

“Meanwhile, operating income was down 17% primarily because of more spending on marketing, player development and analytics.”

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