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Soccer Teams Out Pace US Sports Teams in Revenue

Yesterday we covered the revenues of the top 20 soccer teams in the world in terms of revenue and how that Real Madrid Still Richest Soccer Club in the World . But how do Real Madrid and Manchester United stock up with the largest US sports franchises like the New York Yankees and Washington Redskins in terms of revenue?

Lets first look at the annual revenues of the teams in America’s largest leagues. According to Forbes magazine the top 5 baseball teams in terms of revenue are:

  • New York Yankees $277 million
  • Boston Red Sox $206 million
  • New York Mets $195 million
  • Los Angeles Dodgers $189 million
  • Chicago Cubs $179 million

The top 5 basketball teams in terms of revenue according to Forbes are:

  • New York Knicks $196 million
  • Los Angeles Lakers $170 million
  • Chicago Bulls $161 million
  • Detroit Pistons $154 million
  • Cleveland Cavaliers $152 million

The top 5 NFL teams in terms of revenue according to Forbes are:

  • Washington Redskins $312 million
  • New England Patriots $255 million
  • Dallas Cowboys $242 million
  • Houston Texans $225 million
  • Philadelphia Eagles $224 million

Now Forbes has different revenue numbers for soccer teams than Deloitte had. The Forbes numbers are substantially lower than Deloitte’s, but lets use Forbes numbers so that we can compare all the sports teams with one common set of numbers, from one source. Forbes ranks the top 5 soccer teams in terms of revenue as:

So the only US sports franchise that can compete with soccer is the Washington Redskins. And even then, the Redskins are only the 4th largest sports team in the world in terms of revenue. The Top five richest sports teams are:

  • Real Madrid Spain $374 million
  • Barcelona $331 million
  • Juventus $321 million
  • Washington Redskins $312 million
  • Manchester United $310 million

Is it any wonder that American sports owners are buying European soccer teams, especially those in the English Premier League? With English teams selling for just over 1x annual revenue, they are much cheaper (and profitable) than US sports franchises.