It’s a good time to be a billionaire sports team owner.
The collective wealth of the 44 sports owners on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans rose a stunning 42% from last year to $392.4 billion.
Former Microsoft executive and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer topped the list — for the seventh straight year — with a net worth of $96.5 billion, more than triple the next-highest owner, Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who’s worth $30.2 billion.
- The top of the list is dominated by NBA and NFL owners: 16 of the 20 richest American owners have a team in one of those leagues.
- New York Mets owner Steve Cohen joined the list after purchasing the team in October 2020 for $2.4 billion. Cohen’s $16 billion places him fourth overall and makes him the wealthiest MLB owner by a wide margin.
- New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson wants the next owners to keep the teams where they are and will donate any future team sale proceeds to New Orleans charities. She is one of five women on the list.
The owners, who generally have much of their wealth tied up in stocks and company holdings, have benefited from a rise in the overall economy: The S&P 500 and NASDAQ are both up around 28% from one year ago.