Forbes.com released its top 50 ranking for sports franchises. The NHL didn’t make the cut.
It has, in the past. The Toronto Maple Leafs were No. 26 in the 2014 franchise rankings, worth an estimated $1.15 billion. They were No. 37 in the global rankings in 2015, with a value of $1.3 billion. Their value went up. Their ranking went down. Such is a world where the NFL has gone from 20 teams in the ranking in 2015 to 27 (!) in 2016.
One of those teams was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who ranked No. 50 at a $1.48 billion valuation. All 30 NHL franchises fell behind them. From Forbes:
The average franchise in the top 50 is worth $2.2 billion versus $1.75 billion a year ago. The breakdown by sport is 27 NFL teams (versus 20 last year), seven MLB (versus 12), eight NBA (versus 10) and eight European soccer (versus seven). The New York Knicks are the most valuable NBA team at $3 billion and rank No. 7 overall. No F1, Nascar or hockey teams made the grade. The minimum to make the cut is up 20% to $1.48 billion (Jacksonville Jaguars). There are 76 franchises worth at least $1 billion by our count.
In the NHL franchise rankings released in Nov. 2015, the Leafs were actually the third most valuable team in the NHL. The New York Rangers were first at $1.2 billion. The Montreal Canadiens followed at $1.18 billion and then the Leafs at $1.15 billion. Those were the only three NHL teams worth over a billion dollars; the Chicago Blackhawks were on the cusp at $925 million.
The Rangers were bolstered by the $1 billion renovation of MSG and their trips to two conference finals and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The Leafs, who became the first NHL team valued over $1 billion in 2012, were hindered by the fall of the Canadian dollar.
Forbes noted at the time that the average NHL team is worth $505 million, which was a three-percent increase. (And hence the entry fee for an expansion franchise.)
But again: The minimum for entry into the top 50 is $1.48 billion.