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Owning a professional sports franchise is an expensive hobby, but it can still be lucrative.
In the last two decades in particular, sports entertainment has become big business. For example, 25 franchises had a valuation of $1 billion in 2010, for Forbes. Fast forward to today, and 32 franchises are worth at least $3 billion.
Along the way, six franchises—from international club soccer teams to NFL and NBA teams—have doubled in value since 2016, with one-seventh just below that mark.
All data comes from Forbes list of the most valuable sports teams. The list includes the seven franchises with the highest increases in value by percentage, not total value.
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One of England’s most successful clubs, Chelsea’s value has jumped 93% in the past five years to $3.2 billion.
Chelsea have won many trophies during this streak, starting with a Premier League title in 2017. After winning the FA Cup in 2018, Chelsea won the Europa League in 2019 and the Champions League and Super Cup in UEFA in 2021.
But the indicated value is even higher in reality.
Due to sanctions related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, longtime owner Roman Abramovich sells the club. Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has signed a purchase deal worth up to $4.9 billion, pending final approval.
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Manchester City, the second of three English clubs on the list, has enjoyed a hugely successful five-year run.
Under Pep Guardiola, City have topped the Premier League table in each of the 2018, 2019 and 2021 seasons and finished second in 2020. The squad of 2022 is no worse than a second place too.
Additionally, the club won four consecutive EFL Cup titles from 2018-21, won the FA Cup in 2019 and finished runners-up in the Champions League in 2021.
In the process, Manchester City’s value soared to $4 billion—an increase of 108 percent.
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David Becker/Associated Press
In the mid-2010s, the Oakland Raiders consistently ranked near the bottom of the NFL in team valuation.
This is definitely no longer the case.
Following its move to Las Vegas, the franchise’s valuation soared 117% to $3.1 billion. The Raiders are now 12th out of 32 teams, thanks in large part to their new stadium, significant sponsorships and revenue from personal seat licensing.
In 2022, the Raiders will be targeting back-to-back trips to the playoffs for the first time in two decades.
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Tony Avelar/Associated Press
Back in the Bay Area, the Golden State Warriors saw a substantial increase in value for similar reasons.
The franchise moved into Chase Center in 2019. Before the Warriors played a game, the new arena had already generated $2 billion in tickets, suites and sponsorships. The draft helped Golden State’s value soar 147% to $4.7 billion and overtake the iconic Los Angeles Lakers for No. 2 in the NBA.
And it doesn’t hurt to have a prolific team either.
Golden State made the NBA Finals in five consecutive seasons from 2015 to 2019, winning championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018. The 2022 team also reached the Western Conference Finals.
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Ian Walton/Associated Press
Managed by Fenway Sports Group—which also owns the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball—Liverpool rose rapidly through club performance and trade deals.
Liverpool won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2019, then topped the Premier League in 2020 for the first time in 30 years. And in 2022, the Reds have won a domestic cup double with the FA Cup and EFL Cup.
On the business side, Liverpool benefited from the Premier League’s huge TV revenue, added major sponsorships and signed a lucrative apparel deal with Nike.
The result was a 165% increase in value, placing Liverpool 12th among all sports franchises at $4.1 billion.
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Wouldn’t you know the Los Angeles Rams built a stadium.
Team owner Stan Kroenke moved the franchise from St. Louis in 2016. After the Rams initially played home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, they moved to SoFi Stadium.—which reached a record price of $5.5 billion—in 2020.
Without a doubt, the lavish venue is the main reason the Rams’ value soared 176% to $4 billion.
Success on the field also followed the Rams. Since 2017, they’ve secured three NFC West titles, won two NFC championships and won Super Bowl LVI in their own expensive building.
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Michel Euler/Associated Press
At the dawn of the 2010s, Paris Saint-Germain had managed only two Ligue 1 championships in their history. The last decade has however belonged to the Parisian club in many ways.
Eight of the last 10 seasons have ended with PSG top of the table, and Les Parisiens have won six Coupe de France trophies since 2015. PSG finished second in the Champions League in 2020. For good measure, PSG also won six League Cups. titles from 2014 to 20 before the end of the competition in 2020.
Meanwhile, the PSG brand has grown into a fashion company with physical stores open around the world, including one in New York and Los Angeles.
This reimagining led to an incredible 207% increase in PSG’s value to $2.5 billion.