Sports empires are growing as team valuations rise and owners seek more expansive portfolios.
The top 20 empires had a total value of $124 billion, per Forbes’ recent tabulation, up 22% from last year’s $102 billion.
- Liberty Media led the pack with its $17.2 billion group, which includes the Atlanta Braves, Formula 1, and stakes in Kroenke Arena Company, Drone Racing League, and Meyer Shank Racing.
- Kroenke Sports & Entertainment was a distant second at $10.5 billion. That empire includes the Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal FC, and a slew of Colorado teams: the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Avalanche, Rapids, and Mammoth.
- Fenway Sports Group vaulted to third at $9.8 billion with its $900 million purchase of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The group also owns the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, and broadcast company NESN.
Teams Teaming Up
While many in the top 25 empires only own one or two teams, there is a growing trend toward multi-team groups, particularly as American investors eye soccer teams both at home and overseas.
This week, Major League Soccer reportedly entered exclusive negotiations with Aston Villa co-owners Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris to bring a team to Las Vegas. Edens is also co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Wilf Family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, purchased Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride last July.