The Most Valuable Sports Teams of All Time, Ranked
The sports industry's wealth grows year after year. As a result, some franchises are worth millions of dollars — or even billions. A team's fortune comes from many sources, including sponsorships and (sometimes) championships. Surprisingly, winning isn't everything. With that being said, which team is the globe's richest?
From soccer clubs to football leagues, here are the world's most valuable sports teams of all time.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)
Back in 1933, Art Rooney purchased the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise for $2,500. That was a brilliant move because his family scored big. The team is now worth a whopping $2.585 billion for the owners, The Daniel Rooney Trust and Art Rooney II.
29. Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
Stephen Bisciotti, co-founder of the Allegis Group talent-management company, has been the Baltimore Ravens’ owner since 2004. In the past 11 seasons, the team has won seven playoffs. They also took home their second set of Super Bowl rings in 2012.
28. Atlanta Falcons (NFL)
With no championships to their name, how do the Atlanta Falcons have such a high value? The answer is $1 billion in sponsorships.The franchise has monster deals with Coca-Cola, Home Depot, IBM and Mercedes-Benz. Plus, the team’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium brings in revenue.
27. Green Bay Packers (NFL)
Shareholders and loyal fans own the Green Bay Packers. According to WalletHub, Green Bay and Pittsburgh tie for the "most engaged NFL fans." Don't believe us? When the team's Lambeau Field is covered in snow, hundreds of volunteers shovel the stadium before game day.
26. Denver Broncos (NFL)
The Denver Broncos maintain the longest home sellout streak in NFL history. The team has played in two different venues, and fans keep on coming to see noteworthy players, like John Elway, Brian Griese, Jay Cutler, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning.
25. Manchester City (Soccer)
This treasured team has been in the game since 1880. Today, Manchester City’s value has exploded to $2.69 billion, increasing by 9% between 2018 and 2019. It's no surprise how wealthy the franchise is. After all, the owner is United Arab Emirates royal Sheikh Mansour.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)
Jeffrey Lurie is a big risk-taker. He founded Chestnut Hill Productions, where he created unprofitable movies. However, he also took a chance by purchasing the Philadelphia Eagles using a $185 million loan in 1994. In the end, it was worth the gamble.
23. Boston Celtics (NBA)
Only four NBA teams have higher values than the Boston Celtics. This great basketball team boasts 17 championships over its history, thrilling fans over and over again. The franchise has no problem selling seats at the TD Garden, even after the stadium added more during recent renovations.
22. Houston Texans (NFL)
The Houston Texans have no championships to brag about, and they have the least-engaged NFL fans. With zero value growth between 2018 and 2019, it seems confusing for the team to be on this list. What is the team's secret for such a high value?
21. New York Jets (NFL)
Established in 1959, the New York Jets have only appeared in the Super Bowl once. The good news is that the team showed up and dominated the field. They’ve also had highly respected players on their roster throughout history, including Don Maynard, Joe Namath and Mark Gastineau.
20. Chicago Bears (NFL)
The Chicago Bears have only won one Super Bowl: XX in 1986. But don't let that number fool you into thinking the team loses all its games. The Bears actually have a whopping 769 wins — the most victories in NFL history.
19. Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Valued at $2.9 billion, the Chicago Bulls are on top of the world with the fourth-highest value in the NBA. The team became globally famous in the 1990s when it gloriously captured six championships (including two three-peats) from 1991 to 1998.
18. San Francisco Giants (MLB)
This Bay Area franchise was founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams, one of the oldest teams in the Major League. In 1958, the team moved to San Francisco, becoming the Giants we all know today. This beloved team has a lot to boast about.
17. Bayern Munich (Soccer)
With a record of 29 national titles and 19 national cups, Bayern Munich is known as the best soccer club in Germany’s history. And its history is a long one, starting with the team’s founding in 1900. Today, the team leads the German soccer league system.
16. San Francisco 49ers (NFL)
Winning has boosted the San Francisco 49ers' popularity and wealth throughout its history. Formed in 1946, the team has played in seven Super Bowls and won five championships between 1981 and 1994. With legendary players like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and Steve Young, how could the 49ers fail?
5. Chicago Cubs (MLB)
Known as the North Siders, the Chicago Cubs are three-time World Series champions, dominating the major leagues in 1907, 1908 and 2016. The team has actually appeared in 11 World Series since forming in 1876. The Cubs have also appeared in a few popular movies, including Back to the Future Part II, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Rookie of the Year.
14. Washington Redskins (NFL)
The Washington Redskins have had a long and rich history since 1932. Some great moments include rookie Sammy Baugh leading the team to win two NFL championships and Joe Riggins' lighting up the field at Super Bowl XVII with a 43-yard touchdown run.
13. Los Angeles Rams (NFL)
The Rams weren't always in Los Angeles. Founded in 1936, the Rams were originally formed in Cleveland, Ohio, before relocating to LA. However, the team didn't stay in Los Angeles. In 1995, the franchise began playing in St. Louis, Missouri, returning to the City of Angels in 2016.
12. Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Throughout its history, the Red Sox have won nine World Series with many unforgettable moments. Some fan favorites include Slaughter's Mad Dash in 1946, The Impossible Dream in 1967 and the error of Bill Buckner in 1986. The Red Sox's history also features the famous Babe Ruth and an intense rivalry with the New York Yankees.
11. Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Established in 1883, the Dodgers were formed in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. One of the most prominent players in the franchise's history was Jackie Robinson, the first African American MLB player and Hall of Famer. Robinson helped the team win six pennants and the 1955 World Series.
10. New York Giants (NFL)
With eight NFL championships to their name, the New York Giants have a powerful dynasty. They've had incredible eras with elite players, such as Eli Manning, Lawrence Taylor and Joe Morrison. The team has also honored a total of 29 Hall of Famers.
9. Golden State Warriors (NBA)
Many struggles and injuries have plagued the Warriors’ dynasty. However, the franchise's incredible moments outshine all the bad times. They've had memorable eras built by famous players like Paul Arizin, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin.
8. Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
The world's second most valuable NBA team is the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has racked up 16 championships thanks to household names such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Today, the Lakers are powered by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
7. New England Patriots (NFL)
The New England Patriots have built a strong dynasty led by coach Bill Belichick and former quarterback Tom Brady. The two helped the team achieve six Super Bowl wins in nine appearances. The results? A massive, loyal fan base and a loaded franchise.
6. Manchester United (Soccer)
Also known as the Red Devils, Manchester United is the third most valuable soccer team in the world. The owners, the Glazer family, have plenty to boast about. After all, the team is worth $3.81 billion. Enormous deals with Nike, Adidas and the MUTV channel make big bucks.
5. New York Knicks (NBA)
The New York Knickerbockers, better known as the Knicks, have won two NBA championships — in 1970 and 1973. It's clear that the team hasn't dominated basketball in decades. However, the Knicks have had some great moments, including Jeremy Lin’s rise to Linsanity.
4. Barcelona (Soccer)
Founded in 1899, Barcelona has the motto of being "Més que un club" ("More than a club"). Many soccer teams are owned by wealthy individuals, but Barcelona is controlled by club members and supporters. Barcelona's history is known for its long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid.
3. Real Madrid (Soccer)
With a value of $4.24 billion, Real Madrid ranks third overall as the most valuable sports team in the world. In the soccer universe, the team has the highest worth among all clubs. It's easy to see why Real Madrid is the leading force in professional soccer.
2. New York Yankees (MLB)
Established in 1901, the New York Yankees are often considered the greatest team in sports history. When it comes to monetary worth, the Yankees rank second as the most valuable sports team in the world. However, the franchise is still filthy rich, with a value of $4.6 billion.
1. Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
Dubbed "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys are the most expensive sports team in the world. This isn't the team's first time ranking No. 1 — the Dallas Cowboys have been at the top for four years in a row.