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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Ballmer Becomes Ninth Member of $100B Club

  • Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is now the world's richest sports owner.
  • Ballmer is able to leverage his team ownership to reduce his tax burden.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is now worth $100 billion.

The former Microsoft CEO can claim the title of world’s richest sports team owner due to a surge in tech stock prices that’s lifted many wealthy individuals to even greater heights.

Ballmer passes Mukesh Ambani, owner of cricket’s Mumbai Indians, who ranked first with a net worth of $84.5 billion as recently as April.

With $20 billion in asset growth just this year, Ballmer is one of nine people in the $100 billion club.

  • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person at $214 billion. Bezos has been rumored to be interested in purchasing an NFL team.
  • The 10 richest people, eight of whom are former or current tech executives, have collectively made $245 billion since the start of 2021. 

Ballmer may have his ownership of the Clippers to partially thank for reaching this latest milestone. A ProPublica investigation found that Ballmer’s 2018 tax rate of 12% was lower than the 14.1% rate paid by a concessions worker at the Staples Center where the Clippers pay.

Ballmer can deduct the $2 billion he paid for the team in 2014 from his taxable earnings over multiple years.

NFL, NBA, and MLB team values have grown over fivefold since 2000 — hitting respective averages of $2.6 billion, $1.9 billion, and $1.7 billion in 2019.

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