$3 Billion: New York Knicks Ranked League’s Most Valuable Team

Bulls, Celtics, Warriors and Lakers among top five according to 'Forbes' list

The Knicks have been ranked the most valuable team by Forbes, raking in $3 billion. The publication credits the team’s television deal and a renovated Madison Square Garden with the highest suite prices in the league, which made the team’s value jump 20% to $3 billion.

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The team is also the fourth most valuable among U.S. sports franchises, with Dallas Cowboys (at $4 billion) being No.1, New England Patriots (at $3.2 billion) at No. 2 and New York Yankees (at $3.2 billion) at No. 3, according to Forbes.

The Knicks bumped the Los Angeles Lakers out of their top spot, with LA coming in on the list at $2.7 billion. The rest of the top five were the Chicago Bulls (at $2.3 billion), Boston Celtics (at $2.1 billion) and the Los Angeles Clippers at $2 billion.

The Knicks’ current owners bought the team, the NHL’s Rangers, Madison Square Garden and the MSG Network for $1.1 billion in 1994.

The Golden State Warriors, which reportedly saw the most impressive rise in value, was purchased by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber for a then-record $450 million in July 2010. The Dallas Mavericks also saw a substantial return on investment, as the team was bought by Mark Cuban in 2000 for $285 million and is now worth $1.4 billion, according to Forbes, a 250% jump over the last 16 years.

For long-term owners, the return has been tremendous, with Laker’s owner Jerry Buss having bought the team in 1979 for $16 million. By 1990, the team was said to be worth a league-record $200 million.

Another New York team is in the top 10, the Brooklyn Nets, standing at $1.7 billion. Though the team has reportedly struggled to draw fans to Barclays (as attendance ranks among NBA’s lower numbers in the 2015-16 season), the franchise extended its local cable TV deal with the Fox-owned YES Network before the start of the season part of a pact deal that has the potential to increase its rights fee to an annual average of around $40 million, according to the Sports Business Journal.

The New Orleans Pelicans stands as the least valuable on the list, standing at $650 million. However, Tom Benson, the league’s owner, is not so far from doubling his investment since buying the team for $338 million in 2012.

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