Forbes Magazine came out with its most recent evaluations of the world’s sports franchises, recognizing 24 franchises as being worth more then $1 Billion.  In 2003, not one team was worth that much, in 5 short years 24 are now worth over a billion.  That includes 19 NFL franchises (out of 32), one MLB franchise (out of 30), and 4 European Football (Soccer) teams teams.

Here are the top 10:

1. Manchester United (England Premier League)  $1.8 Billion

2. Dallas Cowboys (NFL)   $1.6 Billion

3. Washington Redskins (NFL)  $1.5 Billion

4. New England Patriots (NFL)  $1.32 Billion

5. New York Yankees (MLB)  $1.3 Billion

6. Real Madrid (Spanish Primera Liga) $1.29 Billion

7. Arsenal (English Premier League)  $1.2 Billion

8. New York Giants (NFL)  $1.18 Billion

9. New York Jets (NFL)  $1.17 Billion

10. Houston Texans (NFL) $1.17 Billion

At the end of 2007, the Yankees were ranked third, and although they did not lose value, the Patriots and Redskins gained enough value to pass them.  I would not be surprised to see the Yankees jump up the rankings after the new season is opened and the team starts pulling in massive revenues from it.

Misc Notes: The lowest valued NFL franchise is still very close to the $1 Billion magic number – Minnesota Vikings at $839 Million…The highest valued NBA franchise is the NY Knicks at $613 Million and the highest NHL franchise is the Toronto Maple Leafs at $400 Million…Forbes predicts that it will be awhile before another team hits the “magic number”…Due to the economy, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of the “just over the bubble” teams fall below the billion dollar mark.

Hat tip and a Nod to Sliding Into Home