Soccer (real football) might not be a big thing in the United States, but it’s a religion around the rest of the globe, making it hardly a surprise that four soccer clubs (Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United) are among the 10 most valuable sport franchises in the world, along with 4 NFL teams (Giants, Patriots, Redskins, Cowboys) and two Baseball clubs, the Yankees and the Dodgers.
Number 10 – Arsenal FC, English Premier League
Mostly owned by Sports mogul Stan Kroenke, Arsenal are the fourth most valuable soccer team in the world and the second most valuable in the English Premier League, with their estimated worth at $1.29 billion. The club has won 13 league titles, including three under current manager Arsene Wenger, but have been trophy-less since winning the FA Cup in 2005.
Number 9 – New York Giants, NFL
Co-Owned by John Mara and Steve Tisch, the Giants are the fourth most valuable team in the NFL, but they’ve been the most successful over the last few years, winning two Super Bowls in the last 5 season, both with Tom Coughlin as head coach and Eli Manning as quarterback, twice against the Patriots. Valued at $1.3 billion, having Metlife paying $400 million over 25 years for the naming rights to the stadium (and the Jets’) helps balance the bank account.
Number 8 – FC Barcelona, Spanish La Liga
The third most valuable soccer team on our list and number two in Spain behind their biggest rivals, Barcelona, owned by their own members, socis (170,000 of them), are valued at $1.31 billion and they have the biggest stadium among the European clubs, just below 100,000. They missed out on the league title last season, finishing behind Real Madrid, but they’ve won the Champion League three times over the last seven years and the league title five times over the last eight.
Number 6 (tied) – New England Patriots, NFL
Another Super Bowl visit, another loss to the Giants. Still, the Patriots are the most successful team in the NFL for a decade or just about more, reaching five Super Bowls and winning three. Owned by Robert Kraft, the Patriots are valued at $1.4 billion, selling out Gillette Stadium every game since 2002, the season it opened.
Number 6 (tied) – Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB
The Dodgers became the most expensive franchise in sports history after Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the club from Frank McCourt via a court led auction for $2 billion. Valued at $1.4 billion and missing out on the playoffs the last couple of years, the deal should be worth it thanks to a local TV contract worth $3.5 billion.
Number 5 – Washington Redskins, NFL
Since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999, the Redskins have made the playoffs only three times, making the postseasons most recently in 2007. Fans are still flocking to FedEx field (79,000), making the underachieving, coach changing Redksins, the most profitable team in the NFL over the last few years.
Number 3 (tied) – Dallas Cowboys, NFL
NFC East underachievers, 2.0. The most valuable team in the NFL and winners of five Super Bowls have made the playoffs only three times since 2003 despite the ambition of Jerry Jones, pushing him to build the most grandiose stadium in the world, Cowboys stadium, which is the largest domed stadium in the world.
Number 3 (tied) – New York Yankees, MLB
A money making machine, along with the Yes network and Legends hospitality. The club is valued at $1.85 billion but the entire enterprise is valued at over $5.5 billion. The Yankees last won the World Series in 2009, their 27th title, more than anyone else in major league baseball. They also have the highest payroll in the league each year, since, well, forever.
Number 2 – Real Madrid, Spanish La Liga
The most valuable team in Spain, owned by the fans, finally won a league title after three years of finishing behind their biggest rivals, Barcelona. Still, the team that’s valued at $1.88 billion and has won more league titles (32) and Champions league titles (9) than any other club in Spain & Europe haven’t won the big prize (UCL) since 2002, also not making the final.
Number 1 – Manchester United, English Premier League
The club is valued at $2.23 billion, making it the most valuable sports franchise in the world, despite the huge debt the club is carrying since being purchased by the Glazers in 2005. An IPO on the New York Stock Exchange is planned in order to reduce the club’s debt. On the pitch, they’ve won the league title 12 times since 1992 and the Champions League twice since 1999, also making the final two more times.