With the NFL's top sponsorship and premium seating revenues, the Dallas Cowboys were named the world's most valuable sports team Wednesday by Forbes magazine in its annual top-50 ranking.
The Cowboys, who have not won a Super Bowl since 1996, jumped 5 percent in value to $4.2 billion to defend their 2016 position. Last year, they unseated Spanish football powerhouse Real Madrid atop the global list.
The 32-team NFL is the world's richest league, with an average operating profit of $91 million and no club turning less than a $26 million profit. A major reason for that was the latest NFL television package bringing annual revenues of $7 billion.
The Cowboys also boast a $1.5 billion team practice facility and headquarters that will become a retail and entertainment complex with hotels, medical center, and convention center. An exclusive club offers members the chance to watch Cowboys workouts.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball's New York Yankees ranked second on $3.7 billion, a 9 percent boost from last year. They boast $120 million in sponsorships and $130 million in premium seat revenues, the highest in the major leagues. In all, eight major league clubs made the Forbes list.
Manchester United, on the other hand, ranked a close third on $3.69 billion, hurdling Spanish rivals Barcelona ($3.64 billion) and Real Madrid ($3.58 billion). Barca were up 2 percent to stand fourth, and Real off by the same amount in fifth overall.
In all, seven global football clubs made the list, the others being Bayern Munich, 15th on $2.71 billion; Manchester City, 35th on $2.083 billion; Arsenal, 43rd on $1.93 billion and Chelsea, 46th on $1.845 billion.
The reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots were sixth on the list at $3.4 billion, jumping 6 percent with their run to the NFL title.
Topping NBA clubs in seventh overall were the New York Knicks on $3.3 billion, up 10 percent in value but still weaklings on the court at 31-51. They have not had a playoff berth or winning season since 2013 and have won only one playoff series since 2000.
The NFL's New York Giants were eighth on $3.1 billion with the NFL San Francisco 49ers and NBA Los Angeles Lakers, sharing ninth at $3 billion.
In all, there were seven NBA clubs on the list. The reigning champion Golden State Warriors shared the 20th spot with the NFL Houston Texans on $2.6 billion, leaping 37 percent in value.
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