Tag: Forbes

Alexander Ovechkin Press Conference

Forbes list of NHL team values: 10 observations


For those with an interest in the business of the NHL, here are 10 observations about Forbes’ just-published list of franchise values. Other readers might find these observations boring. So let’s get right to it!

1. The Capitals have nearly doubled in value since 2004, from $115 million to $225 million. So say what you will about Alex Ovechkin underperforming his massive contract, he’s already made Ted Leonsis a pile of money on paper. No way Washington is worth as much without Ovi.

2. According to Forbes, the four teams carrying the most debt as a percentage of franchise value are New Jersey (144%), Dallas (126%), St. Louis (81%) and Carolina (77%). Forget the Stars, because they have a new owner now. But there’s a reason the Devils have reportedly been flirting with bankruptcy, the Blues are for sale, and the Hurricanes were forced to bring in a bunch of new investors. It’s a dangerous time to be highly leveraged.

3. The Winnipeg Jets are valued at $164 million. They were sold this summer for $110 million, plus a $60 million relocation fee paid to the NHL for the privilege of moving out of Atlanta. Now consider the NHL bought the Phoenix Coyotes for $140 million two years ago. Given the City of Glendale is covering annual losses up to $25 million, could the league end up making a profit on its purchase if the franchise relocates at the end of the season?

4. The Leafs’ operating income is estimated at $81.8 million, by far the most in the NHL. And that’s without any postseason revenue. Imagine if they actually make the playoffs this season. Tickets probably won’t be cheap.

5. The Flyers’ revenue fell by $10 million. Presumably the difference between making the Stanley Cup final in 2010 and losing in the second round last season.

6. Despite the economy, only seven teams are worth less today than they were last year. For those wondering why Gary Bettman makes a lot of money, there you go.

7. Over half the Islanders’ franchise value is attributed to its market, which Forbes says is worth $78 million. Nashville’s market, in contrast, is valued at just $52 million. Translation: the NHL will do everything it can to facilitate the building of a new arena that will keep the Isles where they are. You don’t walk away from affluent, densely-populated markets like Long Island without a fight.

8. The Rangers’ franchise value rose by $46 million over last year. The prospect of a renovated Madison Square Garden with all the additional revenue sources that come with modern arenas was a big reason why. They’re not sinking $850 million into MSG because it was looking a little drab.

9. The Toronto hockey market is estimated to be worth $254 million. Thus, the talk of adding a second team. Also, the reason the Leafs are so protective of their territory. The monopoly they enjoy comprises a huge chunk of their franchise value. Obviously they’ll want to be compensated if another team moves in.

10. The Detroit Red Wings are worth $336 million. Mike Ilitch bought them in 1982 for $8 million. Nice little investment.

Toronto is the NHL’s most valuable team, again

Phil Kessel celebrates with Dion Phaneuf

Forbes has released its annual Business of Hockey/NHL valuations report and for the second consecutive year, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the league’s most valuable team.

From Mike Ozanian of Forbes.com:

The league’s most valuable team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, is now worth $521 million and generated $81.8 million in operating income last season. The New York Rangers, who are enjoying the benefits of playing in a refurbished Madison Square Garden, earned $41.4 million last year and are the NHL’s second-most valuable team, worth $507 million. And the Montreal Canadiens, placing third with a $445 million valuation, earned $47.7 million.

Another success story is that of the Winnipeg Jets (valued at $164 million):

The value of the Winnipeg Jets increased 21%, the most among the 30 teams. After buying the Atlanta Thrashers in May for $110 million, plus a $60 million relocation fee, True North Sports and Entertainment moved the team to Manitoba where the previous incarnation of the Jets played as part of the NHL from 1979 to 1995 before moving to Phoenix. In Atlanta the team sold only 73% of their tickets last season but have sold out all of their games for the 2011-12 campaign in less than 30 minutes.

You can read more about the Jets here. It’s an interesting bit, featuring the first and likely last time Forbes will ever run a picture of Dustin Byfuglien.

Moving along…here’s Forbes 2011 Top-10 (with each team’s 2010 ranking in parentheses.)

No. 1: Toronto (1)

No. 2: New York Rangers (2)

No. 3: Montreal Canadiens (3)

No. 4: Detroit Red Wings (4)

No. 5: Boston Bruins (5)

No. 6: Chicago Blackhawks (7)

No. 7: Vancouver Canucks (8)

No. 8: Philadelphia Flyers (6)

No. 9: Pittsburgh Penguins (9)

No. 10: LA Kings (12)

Here are some of the more notable risers/fallers:

— Winnipeg is up from No. 29 (as Atlanta) to No. 24

— Edmonton is up from No. 20 to No. 15

— Washington is up from No. 16 to No. 12

— Colorado is down from No. 15 to No. 18

— Florida is down from No. 22 to No. 26

— St. Louis is down from No. 23 to No. 27

And for the second consecutive year, Phoenix (valued at $134 million) comes in at No. 30.

Forbes profiles the NHL’s billionaire owners

Jeremy M. Jacobs

Interesting piece here from Tom Van Riper of Forbes Magazine about the 10 billionaire NHL owners.

(That’s 10 NHL owners that are classified as billionaires, of course. Not NHL owners that are worth $10 billion. I don’t think there are many of those.)

According to the piece, the NHL has just one fewer billionaire owner than the NBA, “where the median franchise value is about 67% higher.” The leagues share two billionaires — Philip Anschutz (Kings/Lakers) and Stan Kroenke (Avalanche/Nuggets) — which means the NHL has eight other billionaires we haven’t mentioned yet.

How many more times can I write the word billionaire? Keep reading to find out!

[NB: Just to reiterate, this is all from the Forbes list.]

Jeremy Jacobs, Boston Bruins

Jacobs’ net worth is an estimated $1.9 billion, made primarily through his food and hospitality company (Delaware North). He took control of the Bruins in 1975 and later made two key hires that played an integral role in the recent Stanley Cup Championship: GM Peter Chiarelli and President Cam Neely. Getting rid of Harry Sinden as GM was also a shrewd move.

Ronald Burkle, Pittsburgh Penguins

Burkle co-owns the Pens with Mario Lemieux. His estimated net worth is $3.2 billion, made in part from the supermarket game (and we’re not talking about bagging groceries.) That said, Burkle seems to have dabbled in all sorts of business ventures, which you can read about here.

Philip Falcone, Minnesota Wild

Founder of the Harbinger Group, Falcone’s net worth is believed to be at $2.2 billion (putting him at No. 188 on the Forbes 400.) He grew up in Minnesota and played hockey at Harvard. His pet potbellied pig has its own room in his Manhattan town house. Seriously.

Mike Ilitch, Detroit Red Wings

The owner of the Red Wings and Detroit Tigers founded Little Caesars Pizza in 1959, shortly after a knee injury ended his minor-league baseball career. His current net worth is $2 billion. He was inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 and the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.

Terry Pegula, Buffalo Sabres

Pegula made his fortune ($3.1 billion) in gas drilling, then spent most of it on Christian Ehrhoff.

N. Murray Edwards, Calgary Flames

Edwards is a “self-made oil and gas tycoon” which is also his official title on business cards. It’s a real hit with the ladies. In addition to natural resources, he owns a series of ski resorts and co-owns the hockey team through Calgary Flames, L.P.

Daryl Katz, Edmonton Oilers

Katz (pronounced “Kates”) is Canada’s 16th wealthiest citizen. He’s the chairman and CEO of The Katz Group, Canada’s leading drug store operator — not coincidentally, the Oilers play at Rexall Place. Katz has been in the news recently as the city of Edmonton recently signed off on funding for a new arena deal.

Henry Samueli, Anaheim Ducks

Samueli is the co-founder, senior VP and CTO of the Broadcom Corporation. He bought the Mighty Ducks from Disney in 2005, dropped the “Mighty” in 2006 and won a Stanley Cup in 2007. Clearly, this is a guy that gets results. He’s worth $1.7 billion.

Henrik Lundqvist, Sean Avery make Forbes’ best dressed athletes list

Graydon Carter Hosts a Cocktail Party for the Rising Stars of the NHL

I feel comfortable discussing just about anything about hockey, but get a little lost when placed out of my element.

For instance, I’ll be honest: I can offer almost nothing in the field of fashion. Sure, I can tie a tie (sort of) and pick out an acceptable combination of dress shirt and sport coat (maybe), but most days the sloppy blogger stereotypes fit my sloppy clothing choices.

So in this case, I’ll just have to take Forbes.com’s word for it. The site named its list of the 15 best dressed athletes in sports, with guys you would expect (Tom Brady, LeBron James, etc.) and two hockey players: Henrik Lundqvist and Sean Avery of the New York Rangers.

Lundqvist makes sense because he’s Swedish, handsome, etc … but Avery is a bit of a surprise despite his internship at Vogue. I faintly recall that not too long ago, some snooty designer named him among the worst dressed in hockey.

But I guess it’s all subjective, though, right?