While the Yankees haven’t finished atop the AL East division standings in nearly seven years, they’re still in first place when it boils down to dollars and cents.
According to a list of team values released by Forbes business magazine on Wednesday, the Yankees are the most valuable team in Major League Baseball at an estimated $4.6 billion (an increase of 15-percent over last year’s worth). This is the 22nd consecutive year New York has ranked above all other clubs, and the franchise’s latest figure is more than double the league’s average team value of $1.78 billion (up 8-percent from last year).
The Yankees also had the most local revenue in baseball at $712 million in 2018, and based on Forbes’ findings, that figure is more than the bottom six teams (Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, and Baltimore Orioles) in revenue had combined.
Ranked below the Yankees are the Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.3 billion, $3 billion in 2018), Boston Red Sox ($3.2 billion, $2.8 billion in 2018), Chicago Cubs ($3.1 billion, $2.9 billion in 2018) and San Francisco Giants ($3 billion, $2.85 billion in 2018) as the only teams worth at least $3 billion. According to Forbes, the Dodgers, who have won back-to-back National League pennants, lead the league in operating income at $95 million, while the Yankees rank 18th at $29 million.
To no one’s surprise, the Marlins’ value ranks lowest in the league at $1 billion, and the Rays and Royals are slightly ahead of Miami at $1.01 billion and $1.025 billion, respectively. This means the Yankees are worth more than quadruple the last-place club on Forbes’ latest rankings list.
The Yankees finished 10th in revenue per fan at $62, per Forbes. The Giants were first ($183 per fan), followed by the Milwaukee Brewers in second ($111 per fan), and the Red Sox in third ($105 per fan).
“MLB’s central revenue (mainly national television money that is shared equally) was $2.76 billion in 2018, while local revenue (ballpark and local television money) was $7.29 billion,” wrote Mike Ozanian, who appears on the YES Network television show Forbes SportsMoney. “Thus baseball’s pecking order is driven by ticket, sponsorship and local cable television deals.”
In February, Forbes reported only the Yankees and the NBA’s New York Knicks trail the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys ($5 billion) as the most valuable American sports franchise.