Sam SpiegelmanThe New York Knicks are the most valuable NBA franchise for a second consecutive year, according to Forbes’ annual league list released Wednesday.
The Knicks are valued at $1.4 billion, with an annual revenue of $287 million and an operating profit of $96 million, according to the report.
The team was able to stay atop the list due to their playoff run in which they made it to the second round, but fell short against the Indiana Pacers. After a $1 billion renovation of Madison Square Garden, the Knicks’ operating income reached $96 million, the highest ever in NBA history.
In addition, the team had the second-largest average television audience per game (230,000), which trailed only the Los Angeles Lakers.
Finishing second were the aforementioned Lakers, valued at $1.35 billion after turning a $66 million operating profit. Third were the Chicago Bulls, worth $1 billion, and fourth were the Boston Celtics, valued at $875 million. The Brooklyn Nets were fifth.
On average, an NBA franchise is worth $634 million, up 25 percent from last year. Overall, all 30 teams are worth a combined $19 billion. In contrast, an average NFL franchise is worth $1.17 billion and 23 of 32 teams are valued at more than $1 billion.
The increased value of an NBA franchise can be credited to commission David Stern, who is in his final year at the position. Over the past three decades under Stern, the league’s revenues have soared from $118 million in 1982-83 to $4.6 billion in 2013.