The Toronto Maple Leafs may be the most valuable sports team in the National Hockey League, but 25 sports teams worldwide are worth more, according to Forbes magazine.
The popular business outlet ranked “The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Team” in 2014 Wednesday, and the Leafs — ranked 26th with a value of $1.15 billion — were the only hockey club to crack the list. Despite the team’s lack of success on the ice — one playoff appearance in the last 10 years — Toronto has reigned as the NHL’s most valuable franchise since 2005. The Leafs are also the only Canadian team of any kind to make the list.
Leading the way is European football champion Real Madrid, topping the money charts with a value of $3.44 billion. Barcelona ($3.2 billion) and Manchester United (2.81 billion) round out a top three dominated by soccer powers. The biggest gainer in the top 10 is another soccer club; Bayern Munich hopped five spots to No. 7 with a value of $1.85 billion.
The New York Yankees ($2.5 billion) rank fourth overall and tops in baseball, while the NBA’s most valuable team, the New York Knicks, ranks 13th at $1.4 billion.
As they have since 2007, the Dallas Cowboys ($2.3 billion) lead the way for the National Football League, which has a whopping 30 teams in the top 50. The Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL clubs that failed to make the cut.
New additions to the top 50 include the St. Louis Rams, Boston Celtics and Manchester City. The Raiders, New York Mets and Formula 1’s McLaren all made 2013’s list but dropped out this year.
Despite being in the process of selling for $2 billion, the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers did not make the list, which finished with 50th-ranked AC Milan at $856 million. Commissioner Adam Silver forced Donald Sterling to give up ownership of the team following racist remarks that surfaced this past spring.
(with files from CP)