Forbes came out with their annual valuation of every NHL franchise on Wednesday. According to the business magazine, the Capitals are the tenth most valuable team in hockey, coming in at $575 million.
For all their gaudy banners and no cup jokes, the Pittsburgh Penguins are a less valuable franchise than the Capitals, by approximately five million.
New York Rangers, $1.25 billion
Montreal Canadiens, $1.12 billion
Toronto Maple Leafs, $1.1 billion
Chicago Blackhawks, $925 million
Boston Bruins, $800 million
Philadelphia Flyers, $720 million
Vancouver Canucks, $700 million
Detroit Red Wings, $625 million
Los Angeles Kings, $600 million
Washington Capitals, $575 million
Pittsburgh Penguins, $570 million
Dallas Stars, $500 million
San Jose Sharks, $470 million
Edmonton Oilers, $445 million
Anaheim Ducks, $415 million
Calgary Flames, $410 million
Minnesota Wild, $400 million
New York Islanders, $385 million
Colorado Avalanche, $360 million
Ottawa Senators, $355 million
Winnipeg Jets, $340 million
New Jersey Devils, $320 million
St. Louis Blues, $310 million
Tampa Bay Lightning, $305 million
Buffalo Sabres, $300 million
Nashville Predators, $270 million
Columbus Blue Jackets, $245 million
Arizona Coyotes, $240 million
Florida Panthers, $235 million
Carolina Hurricanes, $230 million
During the summer of 2015, Mario Lemieux and co-owner Ron Burkle put the Penguins up for sale with some outlets claiming the franchise could fetch up to $850 million. In October, the owners announced the team was no longer for sale — suggesting the price may have been too steep.
Last season, the Capitals were worth $565 million, enjoying a rise of $5 million over the last year.
According to former Capitals beat writer Rachel Alexander, Leonsis first bought the Capitals in May 1999 for $85 million as part of a $200 million deal that landed Leonsis and his group a minority share of Washington Sports & Entertainment — the umbrella company of Pollin’s many holdings. Over the last 17 years, Leonsis and his ownership group has seen the team’s worth rise approximately $490 million.
Forbes estimates that the Capitals generated $136 million of revenue last season (14th best in the league) and have the 17th best debt-to-value ratio with 23 percent. Earlier this fall, Leonsis said the mortgage on the Verizon Center costs ownership $36 million annually. Leonsis called it “the worst building deal in professional sports.”
But in the simplest terms, the Caps are a valuable entity, and they are better on a competitive list than the Penguins. That fills my heart with glee.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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