Depicting the MLB logo with an emphasis on "Moneyball"
PLAYERS & TEAM EARNINGS

Despite Revenue Shortfalls, Every MLB Franchise is a Billion-dollar Business

According to Sportico, even the “average” Major League Baseball team is worth over $2 billion.

Sportico’s MLB Valuation Report for 2021 is here, and even the quickest of quick scans reveals that baseball is in a great place financially heading into Opening Day.

2020 was one of the worst years in the history of baseball from a year-over-year revenue standpoint, with teams reporting record-breaking losses due to a pandemic-shortened season almost entirely without fans. Despite the challenges, however, there is clearly no shortage of desire among economic bigwigs to get in on the portfolio of ever-appreciating assets that is the MLB.

How much appreciation are we talking about here? In 2015, Forbes estimated the New York Yankees to be worth $3.2 billion. Today, Sportico pegs them at more than double that number.

According to Sportico’s metrics, the average MLB franchise is now worth $2.2 billion, with the Yankees leading the way at an incredible $6.75 billion, which would make them the most valuable sports team in the world.

Rounding out the top five? The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants.

The money was certainly flowing over the past year. Steve Cohen purchased the New York Mets for $2.42 billion in November, and RedBird Capital Partners recently agreed to invest $750 million for an 11% stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox, regional sports network NESN, and Premier League titans Liverpool FC.

All that action lends a whole new meaning to “Moneyball.”

The desire for wealthy investors to get their hands on MLB franchises even without a “COVID discount” reinforces Sportico’s conclusion that team values appreciated across the board despite such a tumultuous year. It’s estimated that each MLB team lost out on roughly 63-75% in expected revenue; that’s ugly in the short term, but presents a clear opportunity to buyers like Cohen given just how much can be recouped when fans can return to their seats.

Sportico crafts its estimates based on a myriad of factors including revenue, financial records, and interviews with bankers and attorneys specializing in sports. That’s not all, however — regional TV deals are a big part of the equation, as some teams have ownership stakes in their respective television networks, while others have none at all. Additionally, the value of a team’s land holdings plays a big factor in Sportico’s final numbers.

For example, on team value alone, the Los Angeles Dodgers would be second to only the Yankees on the final list, but considering Fenway Sports Group’s broader portfolio of assets and land, the Red Sox overtake the defending World Series champions.

Sportico’s report is the latest proof that a pandemic could not stop the national pastime. Given the extent to which business is booming across the league — not a single franchise is estimated to be worth less than $1 billion — there’s every reason to expect that 2021 will be in the running to become the most successful financial year the MLB has ever had.

Sportico 2021 MLB Team Values

  1. New York Yankees: $6.75 billion
  2. Boston Red Sox: $4.8 billion
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers: $4.62 billion
  4. Chicago Cubs: $4.14 billion
  5. San Francisco Giants: $3.49 billion
  6. New York Mets: $2.48 billion
  7. Los Angeles Angels: $2.46 billion
  8. Atlanta Braves: $2.38 billion
  9. St. Louis Cardinals: $2.36 billion
  10. Philadelphia Phillies: $2.28 billion
  11. Houston Astros: $2.19 billion
  12. Washington Nationals: $2.1 billion
  13. Texas Rangers: $1.84 billion
  14. Seattle Mariners: $1.77 billion
  15. Toronto Blue Jays: $1.76 billion
  16. San Diego Padres: $1.76 billion
  17. Baltimore Orioles: $1.7 billion
  18. Chicago White Sox: $1.65 billion
  19. Minnesota Twins: $1.52 billion
  20. Cincinnati Reds: $1.4 billion
  21. Cleveland Indians: $1.38 billion
  22. Colorado Rockies: $1.37 billion
  23. Milwaukee Brewers: $1.37
  24. Detroit Tigers: $1.33 billion
  25. Oakland Athletics: $1.3 billion
  26. Arizona Diamondbacks: $1.28 billion
  27. Pittsburgh Pirates: $1.26 billion
  28. Kansas City Royals: $1.15 billion
  29. Tampa Bay Rays: $1.14 billion
  30. Miami Marlins: $1.12 billion