Knicks top Warriors to receive the NBA’s most valuable franchise honors

In the wise words of ABBA “money, money, money”. The New York Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA and the third most valuable in North America, according to an annual list released by Sportico on Aug. 1.

James Dolan and the Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. may not be the best when it comes to putting together a playoff roster, but that hasn’t stopped the group from inflating the value of the team since it was bought decades ago.

According to Sportico, the Knicks are valued at $6.12 billion ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season.

How do the Knicks compare to the other top teams?

Only two teams currently rank higher overall than the Knicks, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees.

In terms of the NBA, the second most valuable team is the Golden State Warriors at $6.03 billion. The Los Angeles Lakers are the only other NBA team in the top 10 most valuable North American teams.

Here’s a look at the top 10.

  1. Dallas Cowboys: $7.64 billion
  2. New York Yankees: $7.01 billion
  3. New York Knicks: $6.12 billion
  4. Golden State Warriors: $6.03 billion
  5. Los Angeles Rams: $5.91 billion
  6. New England Patriots: $5.88 billion
  7. New York Giants: $5.73 billion
  8. Los Angeles Lakers: $5.63 billion
  9. San Francisco 49ers: $5.18 billion
  10. Boston Red Sox: $5.07 billion

The second most important NBA franchise after the Lakers is the Brooklyn Nets at number 28.

Here is a top 10 list of the most valuable teams in the NBA according to Sportico.

  1. New York Knicks: $6.12 billion
  2. Golden State Warriors: $6.03 billion
  3. Los Angeles Lakers: $5.63 billion
  4. Brooklyn Nets: $3.61 billion
  5. Chicago Bulls: $3.53 billion
  6. Boston Celtics: $3.44 billion
  7. Los Angeles Clippers: $3.16 billion
  8. Houston Rockets: $2.79 billion
  9. Toronto Raptors: $2.74 billion
  10. Dallas Mavericks: $2.67 billion

A history of the business side of the Knicks

That Ranking by Sportico aligns with a May 2021 list by Forbes that listed the Knicks as the third most valuable team in the world.

However, the valuation at the time was lower, saying the Knicks were worth $5 billion — more than $1 billion down on Sportico’s valuation just a year and two months later. According to Forbes, the Knicks grew 67% in value from 2016 to 2021.

The price the Dolan family and their companies paid for the team in 1997? 300 million dollars.

Understanding Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. and their story is also an important part of understanding what the Knicks’ business side is like now.

First of all, James Dolan serves as the Group’s Executive Chairman and CEO. The group owns the Knicks, the New York Rangers and the Madison Square Garden building itself.

However, the Madison Square Garden Sports Group name is relatively new. Paramount Communications owned Madison Square Garden until 1994 when it was purchased by Viacom and in turn sold to Cablevision and ITT Corporation.

Charles Dolan, James’ father, was the founder of Cablevision – where James also worked in executive positions earlier in his life.

Fast forward a little to 2010 when Cablevision founded the publicly traded company MSG Network, which was then renamed MSG Networks in 2015 and renamed Madison Square Garden Sports Group again in 2020.

The crown jewel of Madison Square Garden

We know it’s not 50-win seasons and deep playoff runs that make the Knicks’ ratings skyrocket. It’s the building they play in.

With its endless list of A-list concerts and other events, Madison Square Garden is a cash cow. SNY reported that a suite rental in the area can cost more than $1 million a year.

The cost of a Knicks game was the most expensive in the league for the 12th straight season in 2021-22. A family of four looking to go to a home game last season cost a staggering average of $936.72, according to Team Marketing Report’s annual NBA ticket sales.

The New York market also helps.

The Yankees, Knicks, Giants, and Jets all rank in the top 15 most valuable franchises in North American sports, and the Mets rank in the top 50.

Hopefully the Knicks can end up in some top five power rankings this season for their performance on the court, not just the money they make from it.

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