Can you think of any Leafs news you care more about than the potential earnings of MLSE?
I know, it’s nice when Forbes reminds us that the hockey organization that profits off the misery of Leafs is worth over a billion dollars, but this year there are some mixed results, as we no longer see the Leafs sitting in the number one spot as the most profitable team in the league.
The Leafs are now third in the league behind the New York Rangers valued at $1.2 Billion and the Montreal Canadiens valued at 1.18 Billion. The Leafs are valued at $1.15 Billion, with $192 Million dollars in revenue during the spectacularly bad 2014-15 season.
The reasoning for the drop:
“The Toronto Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are the third most valuable team in hockey after falling 12%, to $1.15 billion. The Leafs had held the top spot since 2006 (Forbes did not compile valuations in 2005 due to the 2004-05 lockout) but have been undone by bad hockey and a weaker Canadian currency relative to the Greenback. Toronto has only been in the playoffs once since 2006 and the team’s 13-year sellout streak at the Air Canada Centre was broken last March.”
Forbes goes on to mention that the average team is worth $505 Million, so the Leafs are still doing pretty darn good, though it’s worth noting that the median value for a team is actually $100 million less than that and had an operating loss last season.
In case you are wondering what the far end of the spectrum looks like, the Panthers are worth the least at $186 million, and lost $20 million last season.
What does all this mean?
Potentially MLSE is going to want to reclaim their top spot, and there may be reason to worry about how they go about doing that. It could be increased ticket prices, it could be an accelerated rebuild to get back to selling out and to earning playoff revenue, or it may halt the free spending ways of the hockey ops department which has had the luxury of bringing in the best of best for years (excluding players).
There’s also the possibility that this changes nothing, and combined with the value of TFC, Raptors, and the numerous other holdings of MLSE they’re feeling pretty good about their worth and won’t let something small like not being first in the NHL in worth influence them.
I’d certainly like to believe the latter and it seems reasonable to do so.