Forbes recently released valuations of professional sports teams around the world. The Jets are 13th most valuable by their estimates, currently worth $2.75 billion.
Teams currently rated as more valuable than the Jets are the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, New England Patriots, New York Knicks, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Redskins, and Los Angeles Rams.
There certainly are themes to the top of the list. Being in the United States’ biggest market and its most financially successful league certainly helps the value of the franchise. Being in a relatively new stadium with the ability to produce a lot of revenue also surely helps rise the valuation.
Does this mean the Jets are actually worth $2.75 billion? It is tough to say. Forbes makes a valiant effort to do thorough research, but their numbers don’t always work out. The Jets are worth what somebody would pay for them if they were for sale. You can do as many financial models as you want, but there is an intangible aspect here. A sports team is a vanity purchase for many billionaires. It’s cool to own a team. Many of them are willing to pay a premium going beyond the short-term moneymaking ability of the team.
Long-term, however, buying a sports team looks like a great investment. Woody Johnson paid $635 million for the Jets back in 2000. With the previous caveats about how Forbes’ estimation might be off, his investment has more than quadrupled in value in less than two decades.