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The Most Valuable Sports Teams in North America and How They Plan for Profitability

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Competition doesn’t stop when players leave the field. The most valuable sports teams in North America hold their status not only because of the talent on their roster but also because of how they plan for success behind the scenes.

Comprehensive financial planning can be the difference between making it or breaking it in the competitive world of professional sports. Teams that can analyze the full swath of available data on their revenue streams like attendance, concessions, merchandise, parking, suites and sponsorships can then make smarter financial decisions and grow more in the long term.

In this article, we’ll dive into the top-valued sports teams in each major sport in North America. Then, we’ll get behind the “how” and “why” of profitability in professional sports by exploring the strategies and tools that can help sports teams maximize revenue.

(If you want to learn about the United Kingdom's richest soccer teams and how they plan for profitability, read this article instead).

Ranking the Most Valuable Sports Teams

For starters, the Dallas Cowboys are North America’s most valuable sports team. They’re more valuable than the top two NHL and MLS teams combined. That value includes local and national revenues as well as a per-team 3.13% stake in league properties (like the NFL Network).

Below, all teams appear with their most recent valuation based on all public records, plus interviews with organizational insiders and knowledgeable players in the operations of each league. We also included a year-over-year value comparison.

If available, we also noted team value and the value of team-affiliated business interests (like investments in minor league teams) and real estate holdings. This usually indicates that the team owns their stadium or arena.


1. Dallas Cowboys: $9.2 billion in 20231

  • YoY: 20% increase (+$1.53 billion)
    • Team value: $8.67 billion
    • Business and real estate holdings: $530 million
    • The Cowboys consistently have the highest annual revenue in the sport, earning $1.05 billion in 2022.

2. New York Giants: $7.04 billion in 20231

  • YoY: 23% increase (+$1.31 billion)


1. Golden State Warriors: $7.56 billion in 20222

  • YoY: 25% increase (+$1.53 billion)
    • Team value: $6 billion
    • Business and real estate holdings: $1.56 billion

2. New York Knicks: $6.58 billion in 20222

  • YoY: 8% increase (+$487 million)
    • Team value: $6.12 billion
    • Business and real estate holdings: $465 million


1. New York Yankees: $7.13 billion in 20233

  • YoY: 2% increase (+$139 million)

2. Los Angeles Dodgers: $5.24 billion in 20233

  • YoY: 7% increase (+$343 million)

Ice Hockey

1. Toronto Maple Leafs: $2.12 billion in 20224

  • YoY: 6% increase (+$120 million)

2. New York Rangers: $2.01 billion in 20224

  • YoY: 7% increase (+$131 million)


1. Los Angeles FC: $900 million in 20225

  • YoY: 5% increase (+$43 million)

2. LA Galaxy: $865 million in 20225

  • YoY: 4% increase (+$33 million)

How Sports Teams Can Maximize Profitability

Sports teams can theoretically boost their profitability in many ways, like bumping ticket prices, switching to dynamic pricing models, or switching up their merchandise strategy.

However, it’s safer to plan ahead and make informed decisions that will lead to bigger margins. Revenue and Capital Expenditure (CapEx) planning, as well as value analysis, can help sports teams grow their profits over time.


A text graphic listing "8 Ways Your Team Can Maximize Profitability"

Innovate With Revenue Planning Strategies

Sports teams can use data analytics and market research for a swath of decisions day-to-day, but only if they can truly access all their available data. With a complete planning platform for instance, teams could better assess opportunities for growth and act on them quickly.

Teams can focus their revenue planning efforts on aspects of operations such as:

  • Ticket pricing. Use data analytics and market research to determine optimal ticket pricing. You can employ dynamic pricing models to adjust ticket prices based on factors like demand, who you’re playing and historical costs. You’ll ensure that tickets sell at the right price point to maximize revenue.
  • Hospitality. Explore opportunities to create premium game suite options and hospitality packages by analyzing the spending patterns of top-tier ticket holders. You can also explore trends in aftermarket sales to assess case-by-case demand for higher-cost tickets.
  • Sponsorships. Building and nurturing relationships with sponsors can lead to bigger sponsorship opportunities. Use data analytics to quantify the value you bring your sponsors, giving you more power for strategic negotiations.
  • Merchandise. Optimize merchandise sales with strategic pricing options and analyze traffic flow in the stadium (how many people are accessing a certain entrance point, for example) for optimal product placement.

With comprehensive planning software, you can better use scenario analysis to model and assess potential outcomes and risks from different strategies. This helps your team make informed decisions and mitigate potential losses.

Find Growth Opportunities Within Your Existing Fanbase

Without a tool to synthesize inbound revenue data (like which fans are your most loyal, or where they’re spending the most money), you’re letting growth opportunities pass you by. Complete planning software puts the power in your hands by painting a clear picture of what your current revenue streams are doing and pointing out growth potential.

You can diversify your revenue streams by looking at opportunities like your:

  • Fans. Fan engagement creates customer data that sports teams can use (with data analytics and CRM software) to understand fan behavior and preferences. By tailoring marketing and engagement strategies to individual fans, you stand a chance at creating a more profitable fan experience, increasing fan loyalty, plus ticket and merchandise sales.
  • Marketing. Teams can execute data-driven marketing campaigns with targeted advertising, personalized promotions and fan segmentation. This can help you drive higher conversion rates, too.

Use CapEx Planning To Set Goals for Future Projects

These growth opportunities can also manifest as physical growth—future projects that further establish your team’s presence. You can use CapEx planning software to look to the future and assess the potential opportunity for projects, like:

  • Stadium upgrades and renovations that enhance the fan experience, attract more spectators and generate additional revenue.
  • New facilities and expansions such as training centers or academies that can generate revenue through hosting events, training camps or community programs.
  • Asset acquisitions like players or entire sports franchises, after careful planning and analysis.

With the proper planning tools, you can more clearly identify your potential return on investment for these decisions.

How Complete Planning Software Helps Sports Teams Win On and Off the Field

Athletes do everything they can to ensure their team performs well. But they’re not the only ones making a long-term impact on the organization.

Financial decision-makers in the realm of professional sports have a responsibility to guide team leadership toward the best possible game plan and more lucrative choices.

Take Dan Crumb, CFO for the Kansas City Chiefs, for instance. Through scenario analysis, he and his team were able to model the feasibility of the decision to sign quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the richest contract ever in American professional sports.

But with the many variables affecting a sports team, this can mean these lucrative choices are hiding behind mountains of data.

Complete planning software is the secret weapon you need to unlock your sports team’s full potential. With it, you can confidently make financial decisions using clear reasoning and foresight into future trends.

Slash Reporting Time

Scouring multiple sources, like disparate spreadsheets and systems just to find the right data is a waste of time. Without a single unified tool for planning, your finance team is likely scrambling to complete their budget, whip up financial statements and synthesize that information into digestible reports.

All that scrambling steals focus away from your goals for your team’s growth and profitability.

Complete planning software can combine your financial, sponsorship, ticketing, suites, payroll and premiums data into a single source of truth and link key financial statements to save you from manually aggregating data for reporting.

A text graphic that reads: "The Kansas City Chiefs automate manual data aggregations, helping them cut reporting time from 4 hours to 15 minutes. Their YOY valuation increased 28% in 2023."

For the Kansas City Chiefs, complete planning software helped the team cut their financial reporting time by up to 95%. Game day settlement reports take just 15 minutes, allowing more time for sharp-eyed financial decision makers to seize opportunities for enhancing profitability and efficiency.

Go Beyond Budgeting and Financial Reporting

Using a complete planning tool that integrates smoothly with various data sources, finance team within pro sports teams can also expand their objectives beyond budgeting and financial reporting.

For instance, you can use complete planning software to track ticketing and sponsorship revenues, spotting trouble areas before they get too big to handle. You can also manage workforce planning to see where your team needs extra operational support and model player salary changes.

A text graphic that reads: "The Arizona Cardinals went from producing commission statements in 10 days to 5 seconds thanks to complete planning software. Their YoY valuation increased by 32% in 2023."

The Arizona Cardinals are a great example of using complete planning software to innovate an entire workflow. The Cardinals’ financial decision-makers were fed up with the inefficiency of offline Excel spreadsheets. The suite of tools they used amounted to no more than a “digital binder,” while they ran the real business out of Excel, according to the team’s Controller Christine Harms.

Fast forward to right after the Cardinals began using complete planning software to bring their operations into focus. Instantly, a commission statement that used to take 10 days to compile populates automatically in seconds. This gives Christine more bandwidth to offer better insights across the organization, leading to more strategic decision-making overall.

Plan With Confidence

The most valuable sports teams have one thing in common: They know how to make money. What they do with that money may differ from year to year or franchise to franchise, but generally, the top teams use dedicated tools to ensure their hard-earned revenue serves them well.

With Vena for Professional Sports, you can drive your team toward increased profitability through streamlined revenue planning, variance analysis and budgeting and forecasting.

A text graphic that reads: Want to check out these statistics in visual form? View our infographic below." With an orange button that reads "DOWNLOAD"



1. https://www.sportico.com/feature/nfl-team-values-ranking-list-1234684165/ 
2. https://www.sportico.com/feature/most-valuable-nfl-franchises-chart-1234684186/
3. https://www.sportico.com/feature/nba-team-values-ranking-list-1234697991/ 
4. https://www.sportico.com/feature/most-valuable-mlb-franchises-chart-1234715839/ 
5. https://www.sportico.com/feature/nhl-team-values-ranking-list-1234693065/ 
6. https://www.sportico.com/feature/soccer-teams-football-club-ranking-list-1234721408/ 


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