Although we typically anticipate the annual Forbes Business of Baseball this time of year – and we’ll cover it when it drops – there’s a new entrant in the sporting business world, doing the “how much are they worth” thing.
So, for what it’s worth, here’s how Sportico values the MLB franchises for 2021, where the Chicago Cubs are worth a whopping $4.14 billion, behind only the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers:
The @Yankees are $6.75 billion, including their 26% stake in YES and 20% share of sports operations business Legends. The valuation puts them ahead of every sports team on the planet, a tick above their Legends’ partners, the Dallas Cowboys, who were valued at $6.43 billion. pic.twitter.com/1zxAtAE3k9
— Sportico (@Sportico) March 26, 2021
The valuation there put on the New York Mets tracks closely with the actual recent sale price to Steve Cohen, so, even if you don’t buy that the Cubs are up over $4 billion, there’s already been a relative calculation taking place. That is to say, in a world where the Mets are the 6th most valuable franchise in baseball at $2.4 to $2.5 billion, the Cubs – at least according to Sportico – are worth $4.1 to $4.2 billion. The chasm there – as well as between the Cubs/Dodgers/Red Sox and the Yankees – is jarring, but feels right at some gut level.
The caveat to the baseline number here is that Sportico is including stadiums, stakes in Regional Sports Networks (Marquee), and team-related real estate (various Wrigleyville developments, including the rooftops), though the Cubs are technically a separate entity from that which owns a stake in Marquee, and that which owns the various properties around Wrigley Field. The Ricketts Family, which owns the Cubs, is at the top of the chart in any case, but if they were to sell “the Cubs,” I’m not so sure it would be fair to say that the family’s interest in the hotel across the street, for example, is part of “the Cubs.” That’s likely why you’ll see such a substantial difference between this valuation of the organization and what Forbes comes out with shortly.
Either way, though, owning an MLB team – and any related entities/properties – is still very good business, even after a global pandemic.