By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) – The Dallas Cowboys are the world’s most valuable sports team, according to the annual list published by Forbes on Wednesday that was dominated by National Football League teams.
The NFL’s Cowboys, who last year unseated Spanish soccer club Real Madrid for top spot on the list, were valued at $4.2 billion, a 5 percent jump compared to last year, Forbes said in a statement.
Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, who have both the highest sponsorship revenue and premium seating revenue in MLB, jumped two spots to second on the list as their value rose 9 percent to $3.7 billion.
Soccer clubs Manchester United ($3.69 billion), Barcelona ($3.64 billion) and Real Madrid ($3.58 billion) rounded out the top five.
The NFL’s Los Angeles Rams were the biggest gainer, moving from outside the top 50 to 12th as their value doubled to $2.9 billion with their relocation from St. Louis last year.
“Relocations and new stadiums are fueling big increases in the value of NFL teams, with the Cowboys the economic model every franchise hopes to match,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor, Forbes Media.
“Jerry Jones turned a money-losing franchise into the most profitable sports franchise in the world as AT&T Stadium generates the highest sponsorship and premium seating revenue in the sport.”
Teams from the NFL, whose lucrative broadcast contracts are not comparable to any other league, accounted for over half of the list, occupying 29 spots in the ranking, including the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots ($3.4 billion) at No. 6.
The Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions were the only NFL teams that did not make the list.
MLB had eight teams on the list, followed by the National Basketball Association and European soccer, who each had seven teams on the list. No ice hockey, Formula One or Nascar teams made the cut.
For the complete list, visit (http://Forbes.com/most-valuable-teams).
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Alison Williams)