Several Sports Team Owners Among Forbes 400 Wealthiest People

Turns out, people who own sports franchises are pretty wealthy.

A new report from Forbes explains that 10% of their list of the 400 wealthiest people on earth own a sports team. And that’s a pretty remarkable percentage.

When you’re rich and run out of things to buy, a sports team seems like the obvious choice.

The good news for these extraordinarily rich people is that buying a sports team, beyond being unbelievably fun, is also extremely profitable.

Forbes explained that new Denver Broncos owner Rob Walton could see massive appreciation on his purchase.That’s despite Walton having paid the highest price ever for a sports franchise.

On average, football team valuations have risen 1,500% since they started tracking the numbers in 1998.

For Walton, who’s already worth nearly $57 billion, that kind of growth in value would finally allow him to purchase the 47th vacation mansion he’s been waiting for.

DENVER, COLORADO – SEPTEMBER 25: Denver Broncos co-owner Rob Walton is seen on the field prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field At Mile High on September 25, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Wealthy Sports Team Owners Aren’t Singular To The NFL

Steve Ballmer is also on the list as the 6th richest person in the world. Ballmer’s net worth is $83 billion. But don’t feel too jealous of Ballmer, the Los Angeles Clippers owner. He also lost more than $13 billion over the past year due to the decline in Microsoft’s stock valuation.

He could have quite literally bought almost three Broncos franchises with that loss alone. We’re still waiting on reports to indicate which island or small country he may have to sell in order to recover some of that decreased worth.

David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers, is worth a mere $18.5 billion. And while he’s seen the team’s valuation grow rapidly since buying the team in 2018, it’s unclear whether he’ll be invited to Walton and Ballmer’s rich person gatherings. He may have to wait until he crosses the $20 billion threshold.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – MARCH 21: David Tepper looks on in the second quarter during the game between the Charlotte Hornets and the New Orleans Pelicans at Spectrum Center on March 21, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

More Crazy Numbers

Steve Cohen of the New York Mets, Robert Pera of the Memphis Grizzlies, Dan Gilbert from the Cavaliers, Jerry Jones, Todd Boehly who recently led a group that bought Chelsea Football Club: all of them made the list at varying absurd levels of wealth.

In all, 14 NFL team owners, 12 NHL owners and 9 MLB owners were listed. Most of these people are richer than they were the year before. That’s largely because of the increase in sports franchise valuations.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this – beyond the incredible amount of money concentrated in the hands of extremely wealthy people – is that many of the world’s richest now see sports franchises as profitable investments.

Beyond the prestige of introducing yourself at quail hunts, or whatever it is rich people do these days as the owner of a sports team, it’s a chance for them to increase their net worth substantially.

That can be a good or bad thing. For example, Steve Cohen bought the Mets and immediately invested money into the team. Cohen turned the Mets from a middling also ran to one of baseball’s best teams in just a few years.

On the other hand, some owners have put the bare minimum amount of effort into their teams, instead using it as a way to generate money.

Ideally, these billionaires would re-invest money into their teams, but sometimes even that doesn’t work particularly well. Isn’t that right, Knicks fans?

At the very least, no matter how well their teams do on the field, the extremely wealthy can take comfort in the fact that they will always have more money than you do.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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