The 5 most expensive US sports team sales in history

The values of U.S. sports franchises have surged

The values of U.S. sports franchises have surged over the last few decades, pricing out all but the wealthiest individuals in the world.

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NFL franchises are considered the most valuable sports teams. They have an average valuation of $2.86 billion as of September 2019, according to Forbes. NBA teams rank second with an average valuation of $2.12 billion, followed by MLB teams at $1.78 billion and NHL teams at $667 million.

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Multi-billion-dollar media rights deals and growth in international markets are considered key drivers of sports team valuations. At present, it’s unclear what impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on future franchise sales.

FOX Business breaks down the most expensive US sports team sales in history below.

THE NFL'S RICHEST TEAM OWNERS

Brooklyn Nets, $2.35 billion

Joseph Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, speaks during the Milken Institute's 22nd annual Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake - RC1692413BB0

In 2017, Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai made an initial payment of $1 billion to buy a 49 percent stake in the franchise from its previous owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. In August 2019, Tsai paid another $1.35 billion for the remaining 51 percent, for a total transaction price of $2.35 billion.

Tsai paid an additional $700 million to buy the Nets’ home arena, the Barclays Center.

Carolina Panthers, $2.275 billion

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 30: David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management and a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline before a game between the New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 3

Hedge fund legend David Tepper paid an NFL record sum to buy the Panthers in 2018.

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Los Angeles Dodgers, $2.15 billion

 

Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group of investors that included Mark Walter and NBA legend Magic Johnson, bought the Dodgers out of bankruptcy in 2012.

Houston Rockets, $2.2 billion

Casino and restaurant magnate Tilman Fertitta bought the team from previous owner Leslie Alexander in 2017.

Los Angeles Clippers, $2 billion

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought the team in 2014 after its previous owner, Donald Sterling, was banned from the NBA for life for making racist remarks.

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