Forbes Most Valuable Sports Teams 2021: Where Do LA’s NFL Teams Rank?

SoFi Stadium. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network
SoFi Stadium. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network

You’d expect that with many stadiums lying empty for most of the last 12-15 months, and with Super Bowl viewership figures the lowest for 14 years, elite sports clubs would be struggling with their finances right now. Well, you’ll be partly wrong. While some teams are struggling financially, most organizations have increased their values over the last year. 

We are looking at Forbes’ annual list of most valuable sports teams, published in May 2021. As the list points out, there have been considerable pressures for teams in 2020/21. However, the values keep increasing thanks to mega deals like the $10.3 billion broadcasting deal for the NFL starting in 2023. 

The Dallas Cowboys, as has been the case for several years, tops the list with a value of $5.7 billion. The New York Yankees and Knicks come next. Barcelona and Real Madrid come next, with the latter considered the richest club in the world for soccer revenue. But where do the Los Angeles NFL clubs sit on the list? And is there anything interesting the list can tell us? Let’s find out.

LA Rams – T13th 

The Rams sit beside soccer club Manchester City in a tie for 13th position, with both teams having a value of $4 billion. What is most interesting about the Rams, however, is how the value of the organization has soared in recent years. Forbes estimates that the team is worth 178% more than it was five years ago – a growth higher than any other organization on the list. It seems like a solid investment for Stanley Kroenke then, who paid $750 million for the team in 2010. Kroenke also has another team on the list – Arsenal FC – with the Premier League soccer team worth $2.8 billion (38th overall). Kroenke paid $1.1 billion for Arsenal, a year after he took control of the Rams. 

LA Chargers – 41st 

The Chargers organization is valued at $2.6 billion, sandwiched between the Brooklyn Nets and Carolina Panthers. While the value of the team has risen 70% over the last five years, it’s arguably more impressive when you look at how much the Spanos Family paid for the team in 1984 – $75 million. Even if we adjust that sum for inflation, the purchase still comes out at just over $192 million in today’s money. Of course, there’s a lot of court drama around the Spanos Family at the moment, and there are suggestions that the team may be sold. Will any potential sale match up to Forbes’ valuation?

Other Notes On Forbes’ List

Five LA sports teams make the top 50 – the Lakers (7th), Rams (T13th), Dodgers (16th), Clippers (39th), and Chargers (41st). Overall, NFL dominates with 26 franchises on the list. If you were wondering who the ‘unlucky’ six were: the Titans, Lions, Cardinals, Bengals, Bills, and (perhaps surprisingly) Super Bowl winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all failed to crack the top 50. American sports leagues dominate the list, although there is only representation from NFL, MLB, and NBA (41 teams in total). The rest is made up of the nine European soccer clubs.