No matter how hard we try, we don’t think we’ll ever be able to wrap our head around just how valuable professional sports organizations really are. A fact that holds true whether you’re talking about teams on the gridiron, hardwood, or more surprisingly, the ice.
According to the good folks at Forbes, the average team in the National Hockey League is now worth $505 million. For those keeping track at home, that’s a 3% increase from 2014. Proving what we’ve said for a while now: It pays to own an NHL franchise.
In case you were curious to know how Forbes figured out the enterprise values (equity plus net debt) for each franchise, it focused on the revenues and operating income for the 2014-15 season. Forbes explains it more specifically:
Our valuations include the revenue teams get from their arenas and regional sports networks, but exclude the equity value of interests team owners may have in them. In contrast, we do include the equity stakes the league has with non-NHL businesses, such as Fanatics and Outerstuff, because the equity in those businesses is shared equally among the NHL’s 30 teams and would be part of any team sale.
Of course, any way you slice it, some franchises will be worth more than others. Here’s a look at the five most valuable NHL teams in 2015 — the ones that sit at the top of hockey’s financial mountain.
5. Boston Bruins
Current value: $750 million
According to Forbes, the Boston Bruins rank No. 5 on the list of the NHL’s most valuable teams in 2015. If you’re wondering how this Beantown squad managed to be worth $750 million, it probably has something to do with the fact that the Bruins generated $158 million during the 2014-15 season thanks in large part to the team charging the “second highest average non-premium ticket price ($89) as well as the second-most expensive average premium ticket price ($300)” in the entire NHL
4. Chicago Blackhawks
Current value: $925 million
For the Chicago Blackhawks, who last season captured the franchise’s third Stanley Cup in six seasons, success is hardly limited to on-the-ice performances. As Forbes notes, after generating $182 million in revenue during the 2014-15 season, the organization’s overall value rose an impressive 12% this year to $925 million. With that, the Blackhawks now find themselves as the fourth most valuable team in the National Hockey League.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs
Current value: $1.15 billion
While the Toronto Maple Leafs have struggled to compete on the ice for quite some time, when it comes to the NHL’s most valuable franchises, this team is among the top in the league. Despite Toronto’s overall value dropping 12% in the last year, thanks to the $192 million in revenue that was generated during the 2014-15 season, the Maple Leafs are worth $1.15 billion, making them the third most valuable team in the NHL.
2. Montreal Canadiens
Current value: $1.18 billion
Thanks to the new 12-year local-television deal that the Montreal Canadiens began during the 2014-15 season (which will pay them an average of $68 million per season), the Habs generated $219 million in revenue and climbed one spot to become the second most valuable team in the NHL. Now, whenever you watch the Canadiens take the ice, remember that the team is worth a ridiculous $1.18 billion.
1. New York Rangers
Current value: $1.2 billion
For the first time since 1994, according to Forbes, the New York Rangers are the most valuable team in the NHL. Thanks in large part to the team’s success on the ice, a massive $1 billion renovation to Madison Square Garden, and more than $95 million from premium seating and advertising (the most in the NHL), the Rangers generated a league-leading $229 million in revenue during the 2014-15 season. As a result, with a value of $1.2 billion, there is simply no stopping the New York Rangers — financially speaking, of course.
To see the complete list of Forbes’ “NHL Team Values 2015,” check out the gallery starting here.