Another year, another couple of sports team sales, another new record.
The latest team to be sold, the NFL’s Denver Broncos, was sold for a record amount in June that topped the world’s richest sale in sports team history.
The Walton-Penner family group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, who is the son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, bought the Broncos for $4.65 billion (yes, that seems appropriate to write both the dollar sign and the word dollars in this case).
The sale price exceeds the previous record sale of $1 billion, surpassing the $3.3 billion for which the Brooklyn Nets were bought by Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai in 2019.
Earlier this year, English Premier League football club Chelsea was put up for sale due to the status of former owner, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who sold the club following UK government sanctions following the military invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its continued occupation of parts of that country. The sale price was $3.08 billion (or £2.5 billion), but some reports have a total higher than that, but it seems the price was around $3.1 billion. at several outlets.
As the money surrounding sports franchises continues to reach unfathomable levels, rising further and further into the billions as people (or groups of dirty, rich people) buy sports teams for record amounts, this is only a matter of time before a new record is set for another sports franchise somewhere.
What is the full list of the most expensive sports team sales in history? Let’s review the top 11 – for the number of starters on both sides of the field in the NFL – before another team hits the market and breaks the list!
11. Seattle Mariners, $1.4 billion, MLB, 2016
Sold a year before the Miami Marlins (who would be number 12 on this list at $1.2 billion in 2017), the Mariners went for $1.4 billion in a sale to John Stanton in 2016.
Former owners, Nintendo of America, sold the team to a group of 17 minority owners, with Stanton serving as the club’s leader and CEO.
Previously, he was part of the ownership or a member of the board of directors of Microsoft, Costco and Columbia Sportswear, as well as the founding company that became T-Mobile USA.
10. Buffalo Bills, $1.4 billion, NFL, 2014
In what was a record purchase in 2014 for $1.4 billion, the most ever for an NFL team, the couple of Kim and Terry Pegula invested heavily in the other New State team. York.
With the right investment and direction, the Bills have become one of the best clubs in the league, reaching the Super Bowl precipice behind quarterback Josh Allen but not quite able to break through yet.
The couple also own the Buffalo Sabers of the NHL.
9. Manchester United, $1.5 billion, English Premier League, 2005
The veteran on our list and the only one that goes beyond 2014, this one is a bit tricky (or should we say sticky).
ManU was sold, or rather majority taken over, in 2005 when Malcom Glazer took over 98% of the club as minority shareholders were squeezed out. He originally had just over three per cent of the club, and increased that to 15 per cent in 2003 and doubled that amount the following year. Then Glazer took another 28.7% stake to push him to 57%, allowing him to launch the takeover bid – which he did in quick succession and has since included more members of the Glazer family.
We say tricky and sticky because the club’s fans protested the sale and takeover at the time, and continued to show their displeasure with the way the Glazers got the club into debt. They were also unhappy that the Glazers tried to move ManU into the proposed European Super League, a breakaway effort among Europe’s wealthiest clubs that collapsed.
8. Los Angeles Clippers, $2 billion, NBA, 2014
One of the best-known sports team buys in recent history, it was also a record buy for an NBA team when the sale plummeted.
For those unfamiliar with the story of former owner Donald Sterling’s terrible, racist and sexist behavior, his continued presence and interference has driven “LA’s other team” to laughable levels year after year. Finally, in 2014 it emerged via tapes that all of the rumors and innuendo were indeed true, and in the Clippers’ 2014 playoff run led by Chris Paul and coach Doc Rivers, the league forced Sterling out of the NBA and sell the team.
The oft-described eccentric billionaire and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stepped in and happily deposited an obscene amount of cash for the team and instantly became, if not the face, a face of the franchise with his childish antics and cheers. Games.
He’s committed to investing in the team and has done so, with a new arena for the Clippers also on the way, which will only push the value of this team even higher.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers, $2.15 billion, MLB, 2012
Two years earlier, another Los Angeles team, the MLB Dodgers, sold for a (repeat with me) then-record $2.15 billion in 2012.
The new buyers were an ownership group dubbed Guggenheim Baseball Management, led by Stan Kasten, but the most famous of the crew was someone with a small minority stake in the team but a very big personality – the former star of NBA Magic Johnson.
Johnson has been visible as the face of the franchise and invaluable in helping lure other top talent – like Mookie Betts – to the club, culminating in a World Series victory in 2020.
Things are looking a bit better for the club now after the team had to be sold because former owners, the McCourts of Frank and Jamie, went through a bitter and messy divorce.
6. Houston Rockets, $2.2 billion, NBA, 2017
Tilman Fertitta had been aiming to buy the Houston basketball team for over 15 years.
He first tried to buy the team in 1993, but lost to Leslie Alexander for $81 million.
Not serious. The restaurateur and casino businessman – of whom you may have heard controversial things (but isn’t that a lot of owners?) – Fertitta only had to wait 16 years and pay, oh , just slightly more than that, as his purchase of the Rockets in 2017 set the NBA record at the time, only to be surpassed by Tsai’s purchase of the Nets only a year later.
5. Carolina Panthers, $2.275 billion, NFL, 2018
David Tepper went from partial owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers to full ownership of the Panthers, setting the record for an NFL team at the time, which we now know sets the stage for the next sale. to topple that record most of the time.
This is one of the few sales on the list that came from a not-so-simple situation of an owner who just wanted to get out or make more money. Former owner Jerry Richardson was forced to sell the Panthers after allegations of misconduct on multiple accounts.
4. New York Mets, $2.42 billion, MLB, 2020
After the end of the 2020 baseball season delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Steve Cohen showed that the global health crisis hadn’t dampened his income enough to deter him from buying the Mets. Cohen bought the club in November 2020, paying the most ever paid for an MLB team.
3. Chelsea Football Club, $3.1 billion, EPL, 2022
Not the first and probably not the last Premier League side to have an American owner, Chelsea FC were bought earlier this year by Todd Boehly for what was only a few months ago the second highest sum ever paid for a sports club.
In a short time, this has already dropped from number two to number three, and we’ll see what upcoming sales in the future might bring that down even further.
Boehly is actually on another team on this list, as he also owns a stake in the Dodgers.
For comparison, after Chelsea and Manchester United, the next biggest sale by an EPL club was in 2018, when Arsenal were bought for $753m. We are unlikely to see sales in the millions again.
2. Brooklyn Nets, $3.3 billion, NBA, 2019
The selling price of fillets tends to fluctuate depending on how it is reported and the method used.
In total, the selling price is the second-highest on record for a sports team, but it wasn’t bought all at once.
Tsai bought 49% of the Brooklyn basketball franchise for $1 billion in 2018 and took over full ownership from former owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, paying $1.35 billion additional to give us a starting cost of $2.35 billion, which still stands at number five on this list alone. Yet Tsai also bought Barclay’s Center, home of the Nets, for nearly another billion, bringing the total to $3.3 billion. Not every new owner needs to take over the rights to the home team’s stadium or arena as well, but this one-time deal has allowed that to happen as a team entity, we so let’s keep it here at #2 because that would likely be part of any deal if for some reason Tsai ever sold the Nets again.
1. Denver Broncos, $4.65 billion, NFL, 2022
Seeing the numbers shown in this Tweet brings a little more impact to the sale price of these teams, as well as the giant leap from the No. 4 Mets at Chelsea to the Nets and then the Broncos.
That’s a jaw-dropping amount right now, but in 10 years will it still be in the top 10? With the rampant increase in interest in owning a team by those around the world, along with the prices of everything professional sports rising year on year, it’s unclear where this is headed or if it will plateau at some point. .
Surely the sport involves some really silly exchanges of money which we regular fans can hardly comprehend, but we can certainly play the game with our wallets because the team values and the surrounding expenses of the fandom are not not about to slow down.