Forbes magazine has released its latest Most Valuable Teams list for Major League Soccer, revealing that the average team is now worth $157 million – up 52 percent from the magazine's previous valuation in 2013.
Valued at $245 million by Forbes, the Seattle Sounders top the list, followed by the LA Galaxy ($240 million) and the Houston Dynamo ($200 million). Seattle and LA were #1 and #2 in 2013, as well, but they are not the biggest movers in the league since then.
D.C. United saw the largest leap, jumping 97%, from $71 million to $140 million, and the San Jose Earthquakes rose 95%, from $75 million to $146 million, while the New England Revolution also skyrocketed, up 78% from $89 million to $158 million.
The publication cites a variety of reasons for the increase in valuation for the league's teams, including the influx of star talent, the ongoing construction of soccer-specific stadiums (e.g., San Jose's Avaya Stadium and D.C.'s proposed new stadium), a rise in attendance, and the recently agreed TV deals.
The two newest MLS teams, New York City FC and Orlando City SC, both of whom started play in 2015, were not included in the list, as the franchise valuations relied on 2014 financial data. There is a rosy outlook for the two new clubs, according to the Forbes article, which cites both teams' high attendances, NYCFC's record-setting merchandise sales, and Orlando City's selling out of 2016 season tickets.
Top 5 on MLS's Most Valuable Teams list, per Forbes:
- Seattle Sounders, $245m
- LA Galaxy, $240m
- Houston Dynamo, $200m
- Portland Timbers, $185m
- Toronto FC, $175m
Check out the full list at Forbes.com.