When we talk about sports, it’s obvious that we’re talking about more than just the physical act of playing a game. Sports are big business in the United States and around the world, and as such, they attract an incredible amount of money—not just from ticket sales and merchandise sales, but also from television networks that want to broadcast games. But which teams are worth the most? We’ll take a look at the top 10 most valuable sports empires according to their revenue numbers in 2022.
Liberty Media is a group of companies that own stakes in the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Formula 1 racing, as well as an interest in SiriusXM Radio. The company was founded by John Malone (a cable TV legend who was formerly chairman of Liberty Media), Greg Maffei (the CEO) and Patrick Soon-Shiong (the largest shareholder). Liberty Media has a market cap of $2.9 billion and operates as a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol LMCA.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is a company that owns the St. Louis Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth and Colorado Rapids. The company was founded in 2000 by Stan Kroenke. The company’s headquarters are located in Denver, Colorado.
Fenway Sports Group is a holding company that owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. It was formed in 2002, and is currently owned by John Henry. Fenway Sports Group is based in Boston, Massachusetts. The most valuable sports empire in the world belongs to Fenway Sports Group—it’s worth $3 billion!
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has a net worth of $5.6 billion and is one of the most successful sports franchise owners in history. In addition to owning an NFL team, he also founded Jones Lang LaSalle (a commercial real estate firm), Jones Capital Management (an investment banking firm), and Jones Energy (an oil and gas exploration company) – all of which are highly successful companies with a combined value estimated at over $1 billion. In addition to his many businesses, Jerry owns real estate properties around the world including the historic Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas and a slew of ranches in Texas and other states in America.
Madison Square Garden Sports is a sports and entertainment company owned by the Dolan family. It owns four major sports teams: the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty, and New York Islanders. The Knicks are one of the most valuable teams in all of basketball (valued at $3 billion), while both hockey teams were ranked among Forbes’s top five most valuable franchises in 2017. The Madison Square Garden arena itself also brings in revenue for MSG Sports—it’s estimated to bring in roughly $10 million per year from ticket sales alone.
Yankee Global Enterprises, a holding company owned by the Steinbrenner family, owns both the New York Yankees and the New York Knicks. It has a market cap of $4.7 billion. The Yankees have been around since 1903 and have won 27 World Series titles, more than any other team in baseball history. They are also one of the most valuable sports franchises on earth with an estimated value of over $4 billion according to Forbes’ annual list (which factors in revenue from tickets and merchandise sales).
The Kraft family is the largest shareholder of the New England Patriots, with a 4% stake in the team. They also own Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution and have a hand in several other businesses and real estate ventures in Massachusetts. The Krafts have been involved with sports since Robert Kraft’s father took over what was then called the Boston Patriots in 1988. In 1994, he was granted an NFL franchise to be called The New England Patriots; it took him until 1996 to buy out his partners for $175 million dollars (about $246 million today). The family has since expanded its holdings by purchasing soccer club Revolution as well as owning Gillette Stadium where both teams play their home games—it even hosts concerts!
The Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United, is worth $4.8 billion. They are from Manchester, England. The Glazer family controls the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and English Premier League club Manchester United through its majority ownership in both businesses. The family has been criticized by fans and media alike for saddling United with debt that has led to an outflow of talent and money-making opportunities being snatched up by rivals as a result of their ownership model at Old Trafford.
While Paul G. Allen might be the owner of a number of teams, his net worth is nowhere near the level of many other sports owners. In fact, he only has an estimated net worth of $20 billion, which is nothing compared to the likes of Stan Kroenke or Jerry Jones at $8.6 billion and $6.2 billion respectively. Paul G. Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975 and still owns over 30% stake in the company today despite stepping down as chairman in 1983 to focus on philanthropy work through his Paul G Foundation (formerly The Paul G Allen Family Foundation). He also owns several professional sports teams including the Seattle Seahawks (NFL) – US$780 million, the Portland Trailblazers (NBA) – US$1 Billion and the Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) – Undisclosed.
City Football Group is a holding company that owns stakes in clubs in the top 5 football leagues in the world — England, Spain, Germany, Australia and Japan. The company was founded in 2008 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family), and over the last decade has invested more than $1 billion on players and coaches for its teams. The most valuable asset for City Football Group is Manchester City FC, which Forbes estimates to be worth $2.08 billion (as of November 2017). Manchester United ($3.69B) and Real Madrid ($4B) are also owned by CFG — they own 13% and 20%, respectively.
Sports are a major part of the economy and American culture. Although many teams have struggled financially in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most franchises will continue to grow in value as they see increased revenues from TV deals or sponsorships.