Where Nats, Orioles rank on Forbes’ ‘most valuable’ franchises list

Forbes’ annual list of most valuable Major League Baseball franchises ranks the Washington Nationals just outside of the Top 10, at No. 11, this year.

Forbes estimates the Nats franchise is worth $1.75 billion. That’s 4% more than last year. Forbes also estimates the Nats franchise has $366 million in revenue and a $24 million operating profit.

Forbes determines a team’s value by including the economics of the ballpark, not counting the real estate itself, the value of media rights and revenue and operating income among other factors.

Forbes says the 30 MLB teams generated a record average operating income in the 2018 season, 38 percent more than the previous season. Revenue rose 4.8% to an average of $330 million per team.

Player costs, including signing bonuses and benefits, were unchanged at $157 million.

The average MLB team is now worth $1.78 billion, 8% more than a year ago.

The Baltimore Orioles rank No. 19 on this year’s list, with an estimated franchise value of $1.28 billion, up 7%.

The three most valuable MLB teams are the New York Yankees ($4.6 billion), Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.3 billion) and the Boston Red Sox ($3.2 billion).

Forbes’s 2019 list ranking MLB teams by franchise value is online at Forbes’ website.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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