Bank of Beantown: Forbes slots Red Sox 11th on top-franchises list

Despite Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner's lucrative heist at the Fens, the Boston Red Sox rose thirteen spots
to No. 11 in the 2013 Forbes rankings of the World's Most Valuable Sports Franchises.

Jan-Christian Sorensen
Contributing Writer

The Boston Red Sox took a big leap in the 2013 ranking of the World’s Most Valuable Sports Franchises, compiled annually by Forbes.

The Red Sox, listed this year at No. 11 with a value of $1.312 billion, rose 13 spots from No. 24 and a value of $1 billion in 2012. The New York Yankees are the top Major League Baseball team once again on the list at No. 4 with a value of $2.3 billion, while the Los Angeles Dodgers are the second MLB team on the register, at No. 7 with a value of $1.615 billion.

The next closest baseball team on the list is the Chicago Cubs, tied for No. 31 with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers at a value of $1 billion each. The Yanks, Dodgers, Sox and Cubs were the only four MLB teams to crack the top-40. The other MLB franchises on the list are the Philadelphia Phillies (No. 41, $893 mil.), New York Mets (No. 45, $811 mil.) and San Francisco Giants (No. 49, $786 mil).

The average value of each team ranked is $1.24 billion, which amounts to a 16 per cent increase over the 2012 average value. The list mirrors Forbes’ 2013 catalogue of the most valuable MLB franchises that was released in March in which the Yankees, Dodgers and Sox were ranked first through third, respectively. Forbes estimated that the average MLB team is worth $744 million, a surge of 23 per cent above 2012 and the largest increase since Forbes began tracking MLB finances in 1998.

“I think that every team has a chance to make money, if they run the operation right,” Larry Lucchino, President and CEO of the Red Sox, told CNBC during an opening-day interview in April. “It’s not just the Yankees and the Red Sox living in some special, high-priced neighborhood.”

The Red Sox, owned by John Henry and Tom Werner through Fenway Sports Group, got a financial boost in 2012 when Fenway Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places during its centennial, qualifying the hallowed stadium for a tax credit of nearly $40 million.

Red Sox co-owner John Henry
Besides the Sox, Fenway Sports Group owns Premier League football club Liverpool F.C. — purchased for $477 million in 2010 — and its home stadium Anfield, as well as Fenway Sports Management, an 80-per-cent stake in the New England Sports Network (NESN) and 50 per cent of the Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR group.

While New York is the most valuable MLB franchise according to Forbes, it’s also laying claim to the most well-liked, according to an annual Harris poll commissioned by the Sacramento Bee. The poll, which sampled the opinions of 2,200 adults, ranked the Yankees as the most popular MLB team for the tenth year in a row, with the Red Sox second and the Atlanta Braves third.

Take heart, Red Sox fans — the Yankees, No. 1 in MLB team payroll at $228,995,945 according to Deadspin — are shelling out $117.7 million for their top-five earners (Alex Rodriguez, $29m; Vernon Wells, $24.6m; CC Sabathia, $24.3m; Mark Teixeira, $23.125m; Derek Jeter $16.7m) while Boston — no. 4 in MLB team payroll at $158,967,286 — is only paying $68.3 million for their top five (John Lackey, $15.95m; David Ortiz, $14.5m; Ryan Dempster, $13.25m; Shane Victorino, $13m; Jon Lester, $11.625m).

Following are the Forbes Top-10 Most Valuable Sports Franchises in the World:

1 Real Madrid, $3.3 billion
2 Manchester United, $3.165 billion
3 Barcelona, $2.6 billion
4 New York Yankees, $2.3 billion
5 Dallas Cowboys, $2.1 billion
6 New England Patriots, $1.635 billion
7 Los Angeles Dodgers, $1.615 billion
8 Washington Redskins, $1.8 billion
9 New York Giants, $1.468 billion
10 Arsenal, $1.326 billion

Twitter: @jan_doh