Chiefs Drop on Forbes’ 2019 Most Valuable Sports Franchises List

Andy Reid Chiefs

Getty Images Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach (left) Andy Reid stands alongside team owner Clark Hunt (right).

Each year, Forbes Magazine publishes a list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports franchises. Among the criteria that factor into the evaluation of Senior Editor Kurt Badenhausen are overall monetary value, operating income, and year-over-year percentage change.

The Kansas City Chiefs have enjoyed heightened success for much of this decade, and no more so than in the past two seasons with the ascent of MVP QB Patrick Mahomes. While the assumption that sustained on-field success directly translates to higher revenues is generally a safe one to make, it isn’t necessarily enough to climb the Forbes rankings.

Earlier this season Forbes released its 2019 list and the Chiefs took a slight tumble despite maintaining their $2.1 billion valuation from last year. Overall, Kansas City dropped four spots and are now locked in a tie with the St. Louis Cardinals as the 47th most valuable sports franchise on the planet.

Despite slipping down the list this year, the Chiefs have maintained their standing in the mid-40s over the past three seasons. Last year the organization saw a 12 percent year-over-year value increase – up from $1.88 billion in 2017 when they secured the No.44 overall spot.

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NFL Owners

Getty ImagesLos Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones


Values continue to rise, NFL remains king

The NFL remains the most well-represented major professional league, taking up more than half of the spots (26) on the list. While that number has seen a decrease from 29 franchises last year, overall values appear to be on the rise throughout the league – and the world. The next closest leagues to the NFL were the MLB (8 teams), soccer (7), and the NBA (6).

“The cutoff to rank among the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams is $2.075 billion, up $125 million from last year and $1.2 billion from five years ago,” wrote Badenhauser. “The values of sports teams have skyrocketed on the backs of ballooning media rights deals and more owner-friendly collective bargaining agreements that restrain player costs. There are 52 teams across all sports worth at least $2 billion, up from one, Manchester United, in 2012.

With an estimated value of $5 billion and an operating income of $365 million, the Dallas Cowboys took home the No.1 ranking for a fourth consecutive year.


Where does the rest of the AFC West stack up?

While the Chiefs can still hang their hat on being among the 50 most successful sports franchises on the planet, they still face tough competition down to their own division. All four AFC West franchises were represented on the list with Kansas City bringing up the rear in its overall estimated worth.

Here’s a snapshot of the standing within the division from this past year:

26) Denver Broncos – $2.65 billion value and $106 million operating budget
34) Oakland Raiders – $2.42 billion value and $25 million operating budget
41) L.A. Chargers – $2.28 billion value and $48 million operating budget
T47) Kansas City Chiefs – $2.1 billion value and $60 million operating budget

None of the four teams improved on their 2018 ranking, but Oakland was the only franchise to remain steady (No.34). Both Denver and L.A. dropped three notches while the Chiefs took the most significant in-division fall with a loss of four notches.

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