The list of the 10 most valuable teams in the NFL shows us that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, despite their lack of success in recent times, are still the top of the heap when it comes to economics and value. It also teaches us that if you’re going to profitable, you better be placed in the Eastern part of the United States, with the Kings being the exception, not the rule.
There’s no wonder that the Atlantic and Northeast divisions in the Eastern conference send six of the 10 teams to this list, with Chicago and Detroit representing the “Western” United States.
Los Angeles Kings, $276 Million
The Kings finished the 2011-2012 by winning their first ever Stanley Cup since their NHL debut 44 years ago. They generated a revenue of $120 million during the season and an operating income of $1.8 million. Philip Anschutz, the owner, has put up AEG, which owns the hockey team, up for sale.
Pittsburgh Penguins, $288 million
The Penguins are proof that it doesn’t take a big market to be a profitable and professionally successful organization, making the playoffs for six consecutive seasons. They generated $120 million in revenue last season and an operating income of $9.1 million.
Philadelphia Flyers, $336 million
Another consistently good team, but always falling short of true greatness, losing in the Stanley Cup Finals six times since their last title in 1975. They’ve made the playoffs 16 times out of the last 17 seasons. They generated $124 million in revenue last season and $10.9 in operating income.
Vancouver Canucks, $342 Million
Interesting fact: The Canucks claim that their commerce-enabled mobile application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch,which features scores, stats and standings, as well as the team’s schedule and links letting fans buy tickets via the application, is the most popular NHL team application in the App Store. They’ve made the postseason four times in a row. Their revenue was $143 million last season with an operating income of $30.4 million.
Detroit Red Wings, $346 million
The Red Wings haven’t missed the postseason since 1990 and have sold out 70 consecutive games at Joe Louis Arena. They generated $128 million in revenue and $20.8 million in operating income last season.
Boston Bruins, $348 Million
The Bruins have been a playoff team since 2008, winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in nearly 40 years vs Vancouver in 2011. Last season, the Bruins raised their average ticket price 7%, more than any other NHL team except the Rangers (13%), Capitals (12%) and Sharks (9%). They generated $129 million in revenue and $14.2 million in operating income.
Chicago Blackhawks, $350 Million
Like the Bruins, the Blackhawks have enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance in the past few years, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 for the first time in 49 years. Their average attendance of 21,500 per game was the highest in the NHL last season. They generated a revenue of $125 million and an operating income of $20.5 million.
Montreal Canadiens, $575 million
They’ve got 23 Stanley Cups, but the last of them came in 1993. Despite their lack of success over the past two decades, they had second-highest average non-premium ticket price during 2011-12 season ($87) and should get far richer local media deal when current contract with Reseau des Sports expires after 2012-13 season. Generated $169 million in revenue and $51.6 million in operating income.
New York Rangers, $750 Million
The value of the Rangers increased 48% during the past year mainly due to revenue-enhancing renovations at their arena. They reached the conference finals (losing to the Devils) for the first time since 1997 as well. They generated $199 million worth of revenue with an operating income of $74 million.
Toronto Maple Leafs, $1 Billion
The Maple Leafs haven’t been to the postseason since before the previous lockout in 2004. Maybe this lockout will be somewhat of a change in fortunes for a team that has won 13 Stanley Cups, none since 1967. In June, 2012 Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owned the Maple Leafs, Raptors of the NBA and Bell Canada Centre, was sold to Bell Canada and Rogers Communications for $2.05 billion. They generated $200 million in revenue last season with an operating income of $81.9 million.