Chiefs, Cardinals crack annual list of most valuable sports franchises

The Kansas City Chiefs are the most valuable professional sports franchise in Missouri, with a value of $1.88 billion, according to the latest annual ranking from Forbes.

That figure marks a 23 percent increase over last year’s valuation for the National Football League team and puts the Chiefs at No. 44 on the Forbes list.

The St. Louis Cardinals follow just behind the Chiefs at No. 47 on the list, with a valuation of $1.8 billion. That represents 12 percent growth from last year’s Forbes valuation for the Major League Baseball team.

The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys topped the annual list, with a valuation of $4.2 billion. Baseball’s New York Yankees ranked second, followed by a trio of European soccer clubs — Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The only other team with Missouri ties to make the Forbes top 50 was the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, who left St. Louis in early 2016 and saw their valuation skyrocket as a result. The team now has an estimated value of $2.9 billion, double last year’s figure.

Forbes compiled the rankings based on each team’s enterprise value (equity plus debt) based on current venue deals, unless a new venue was pending.

The mark to qualify as one of the world’s most valuable teams continued to grow, with 36 teams that had a valuation of at least $1 billion failing to make Forbes’ top 50.

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