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Forbes’ most-valuable list not kind to Florida sports franchises

Forbes’ 2019 list of the world’s most valuable sports franchises is an embarrassment of riches, from the top-ranked Dallas Cowboys to the 50th-ranked New Orleans Saints. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find Florida teams on the list.

Just two of the nine major pro teams to call Florida home made this year’s list: the Miami Dolphins, 33rd in the world with an estimated value of $2.6 billion; and the Jacksonville Jaguars, 49th in the world with an estimated value of $2.1 billion.

Not a single one of Tampa Bay’s three major franchises made the top-50 list, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ranked 12th in the world back in 2010.

More bad news for the Bucs’ owners, the Glazers: their Manchester United franchise was one of only two in this year’s top-50 to lose value from 2018. Forbes estimated ManU was down 8% from last year to a $3.8 billion valuation in 2019, sixth in the world overall.

ManU was the first franchise in the world to crack the $3 billion mark back in 2013, but it hasn’t enjoyed a smooth ride in recent years under the Glazers, even as franchise values soar across-the-board due to lucrative media deals.

It’s not likely the Glazers are hurting, however, as Forbes last fall estimated the Buccaneers — even as one of the NFL’s least valuable franchises — were worth an even $2 billion.

The Cowboys topped Forbes’ 2019 list at $5 billion, with the New York Yankees and Real Madrid following at $4.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively.

A $2 billion valuation, enough to top the Forbes’ list in 2012, no longer makes the cut. Even teams without much of a track record of winning are raking in the profits; the Arizona Cardinals, Brooklyn Nets, and Oakland Raiders all surpassed $2.1 billion valuations this year.

Other Florida franchises have seen their Forbes estimates grow as well: the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins were valued at $1B each earlier this year, 29th and 30th in MLB, respectively; the Miami Heat ($1.8B) and Orlando Magic ($1.3B) were the NBA’s 10th- and 23rd-most valuable franchises, respectively; while the Tampa Bay Lightning ($445M) and Florida Marlins ($295M) were the NHL’s 21st and 30th-most valuable franchises, respectively.

Every Florida team is believed to be worth significantly more than it was when it was last sold.

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