Chicago Blackhawks: Still Extremely Valuable

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Chicago Blackhawks: Still Extremely Valuable

Chicago Blackhawks

On Tuesday, Sportico released their updated NHL franchise valuations. The Chicago Blackhawks ranked fourth out of the 32 franchises at $1.4 billion. The LA Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals broke up the Original Six at the top of the valuations with Detroit ranking tenth.

Here are a few Chicago-related nuggets of note from their write-up:

  • Sportico estimates the Blackhawks’ value is up by 6 percent from last year. 24 of the other 31 clubs had an increase of more than 6% in the past 12 months based on their valuation.
  • The average NHL franchise is worth $1.01 billion—crossing the 10-figure mark for the first time—and up 9% from a year ago.
  • The top 12 clubs by value all have real estate or NHL-related businesses, with an average value of more than $200 million by our calculations, as teams increasingly look beyond just the NHL franchise to expand their reach.
  • Sportico describes the NHL’s fan base as “relatively young” and “affluent” and notes that teams have the same avenues to grow their businesses, whether it is through sponsorships, content, gambling, blockchain or real estate developments, as other major professional sports. Yet their valuations are dramatically lower.
  • NHL teams are valued at an average of just over five times revenue, compared to the NFL (7.6) NBA (8.4) and MLB (7.4).
  • NHL teams generated $6.1 billion in total revenue during the 2021-22 season. That number includes non-NHL events for ownership groups like the Blackhawks that also operate their own venue. That’s up nearly three times the previous year when COVID was still impacting attendance in many cities, especially in Canada.
  • Hockey-related revenue was $5.4 billion last season, according to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. This is the number that is used to calculate the salary cap each season. This was a good number coming out of COVID, and an even stronger 2022-23 could wipe out the $1 billion debt that kept the salary cap flat the last couple years. If that happens, the Blackhawks will have an absurd amount of cap space as soon as next year.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab