The article notes that blue-chip investors are an increasing presence in the league, drawn not only by the growth potential of “the sport of the future since 1972,” as they say over at Men in Blazers, but by the revenue streams found at a club such as LAFC. The Los Angeles side not only have high ticket sales, Banc of California Stadium hosted 20 events this year, and “the club has a digital billboard business that has the potential to generate more than $10 million annually.”
NYCFC and Seattle Sounders are the only two clubs in Sportico’s Top 10 that don’t control their own stadium, but both clubs have strong fan bases, and both teams lifted silverware in recent months.
According to Sportico, the value of NYCFC grew 5%, jumping from $655 million in 2021 to $690 million today. Still, the club was leap-frogged by DC United and Toronto FC. Both teams are experiencing poor years on the field, but both teams have reason to be hopeful for the near future. DC United brought on Wayne Rooney as manager in the middle of the season, and he’s expected to shape the club next year, while Toronto made some of the biggest signings in MLS history, bringing on two Italian stars in the prime of their careers.
It’s also well behind league-leaders LAFC, which are valued at $900 million, up from $860 million in 2021. Is it petty to point out that our frenemies the New Jersey Red Bulls are valued at $525 million, up from $505 million in 2021? You can see the full list of valuations for all 28 MLS clubs here.
Other notable figures from the article:
- The average MLS franchise is worth $582 million
- Each MLS franchise made about $3 million from national broadcast deals
- Toronto FC paid an expansion fee of $10 million to join the league in 2007
- Charlotte FC paid an expansion fee of $325 million to join the league in 2022
NYCFC’s current valuation of $690 million jibes with a report earlier this year that predicted the club’s value will rise to $1.86 billion by the end of the decade, and to over $4 billion by 2040. That would entail more than doubling the present rate of growth, but the Sportico piece explains that MLS’s recent 10-year deal with Apple could be just the x-factor to fuel that increase.
While the direct revenue from the partnership might only bring in around $9 million per year to each team, the article explains that Apple “is going to integrate MLS into its entire ecosystem, from Apple Fitness to Apple Watch to Apple News. The company has 1.8 billion active devices globally that it can tap.”
We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to catch an MLS game on the 45 mm display on an Apple Watch.