Sports Teams Whose Values Have Skyrocketed in Recent Years
Owning a professional sports franchise is an expensive hobby, but it nonetheless can be a lucrative one.
Throughout the past two decades in particular, sports entertainment has become big business. For example, 25 franchises had a $1 billion valuation in 2010, per Forbes. Fast-forward to today, and 32 franchises are worth at least $3 billion.
Along the way, six franchises—from international club soccer teams to NFL and NBA squads—have doubled in value since 2016, with a seventh just shy of that mark.
All data is from the Forbes list of most valuable sports teams. The list includes the seven franchises with the highest increases in value relative to percentage, not total value.
One of England's most successful clubs, Chelsea's value has jumped 93 percent in the past five years to $3.2 billion.
Chelsea has earned numerous trophies during this stretch, beginning with a Premier League title in 2017. After winning the FA Cup in 2018, Chelsea won the Europa League in 2019 and both the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup in 2021.
But the listed value is even higher in reality.
Due to sanctions related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, longtime owner Roman Abramovich is selling the club. Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly has signed a purchase agreement worth up to $4.9 billion, pending final approval.
Manchester City, the second of three English clubs on the list, has enjoyed a hugely successful five-year run.
Under the leadership of Pep Guardiola, City stood atop the Premier League table in each of the 2018, 2019 and 2021 seasons and finished as the runner-up in 2020. The 2022 squad is guaranteed no worse than a runner-up finish, too.
Additionally, the club secured four straight EFL Cup titles from 2018-21, won the FA Cup in 2019 and ended as the Champions League runner-up in 2021.
In the process, Manchester City's value has climbed to $4 billion—an increase of 108 percent.
Las Vegas Raiders
During the mid-2010s, the Oakland Raiders consistently ranked near the bottom of the NFL in team valuation.
That is decidedly not the case anymore.
As a product of moving to Las Vegas, the franchise's appraisal has rocketed 117 percent to $3.1 billion. The Raiders are now 12th among 32 teams, largely because of their new stadium, big-money sponsorships and revenue from personal seat licenses.
In 2022, the Raiders will be aiming for back-to-back postseason trips for the first time in two decades.
Golden State Warriors
Back in the Bay Area, the Golden State Warriors have experienced a substantial rise in value for similar reasons.
The franchise moved into the Chase Center in 2019. Before the Warriors played a game, the new arena had already generated $2 billion from tickets, suites and sponsorships. The project helped Golden State's value soar 147 percent to $4.7 billion and surpass the iconic Los Angeles Lakers for No. 2 in the NBA.
And it doesn't hurt to have a prolific team, either.
Golden State made the NBA Finals in five straight seasons from 2015-19, winning championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018. The 2022 team has reached the Western Conference Finals, too.
Run by Fenway Sports Group—which also owns the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball—Liverpool has rapidly ascended thanks to both the club's performance and commercial deals.
Liverpool won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2019, then topped the Premier League in 2020 for the first time in 30 years. And in 2022, the Reds won a domestic cup double with the FA Cup and EFL Cup.
On the business side, Liverpool has benefitted from the Premier League's massive TV revenue, added major sponsorships and signed a lucrative apparel deal with Nike.
The result has been a 165 percent surge in value, sending Liverpool to 12th among all sports franchises at $4.1 billion.
Los Angeles Rams
Wouldn't you know it, the Los Angeles Rams built a stadium.
Team owner Stan Kroenke moved the franchise out of St. Louis in 2016. After the Rams initially played home games at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, they moved into SoFi Stadium—which ran a record-setting $5.5 billion price tag—in 2020.
Without a doubt, the palatial venue is the primary reason the Rams' value has climbed 176 percent to $4 billion.
On-field success has followed the Rams, too. Since 2017, they've secured three NFC West titles, earned two NFC championships and won Super Bowl LVI in their own, expensive building.
Heading into the 2010s, Paris Saint-Germain had managed only two Ligue 1 championships in its history. The past decade, however, has belonged to the Parisian club in multiple ways.
Eight of the past 10 seasons have concluded with PSG atop the table, and Les Parisiens have six Coupe de France trophies since 2015. PSG finished as the Champions League runner-up in 2020. For good measure, PSG also captured six Coupe de la Ligue titles from 2014-20 before the competition ended in 2020.
Meanwhile, the PSG brand has evolved into a fashion business with physical stores open around the globe, including one in both New York and Los Angeles.
This reimagination has resulted in PSG's value undergoing an incredible 207 percent rise to $2.5 billion.