Apr 12, 2019

The ever-increasing value of MLB teams

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Data: Forbes; Logos: SportsLogos.net; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The average Major League Baseball team is worth $1.78 billion, according to Forbes, an 8% increase from last year. Additionally, all 30 franchises are worth at least $1 billion; whereas just 10 years ago, only the Yankees and Mets were.

Between the lines:

  • Biggest riser: The Giants saw the biggest increase in value over the last decade. I guess that's what winning three World Series titles does for you.
  • Slowest climb: The rest of the league has caught up to the Mets and Yankees, who rank dead last and third-to-last, respectively, in growth since 2009.
  • Biggest surprise: The Pirates are the league's 20th-most valuable team at $1.2 billion, but they've experienced the fifth-highest growth rate in the last 10 years (274%).
  • Biggest driver: MLB's ownership stakes in MLB Advanced Media (100%), BamTech (15%) and MLB Network (67%), as well as the league's investment portfolio, were included in the valuations and equally divided among the 30 teams, constituting over $400 million in value per franchise.

The big picture: This is Forbes' 22nd time doing this. Over that span, the average MLB team value has increased 11% year-over-year, while NBA and NFL team values have increased 13% and 12%, respectively.

What's next: These increases are only going to get bigger in 2022 when MLB's seven-year, $5.1 billion deal with Fox kicks in.

Go deeper: Axios' Deep Dive on the business of sports

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