The LA Galaxy are the most valuable MLS club according to Forbes, taking top spot from the Seattle Sounders who have been number one since 2013.
Still in a growth phase with an increasing demand and new franchises on the horizon, the average MLS club is now worth $223 million, up 20% from last year.
According to Forbes, the LA Galaxy is now the league’s most valuable team with a value of $315 million, a 19% increase from last year. The five-time MLS Cup winners generated an estimated $63 million in revenue last season, far and away the most of any team.
The Sounders, now worth $295 million, remain a close second, which ought to be no surprise considering that the team is coming off its first ever championship victory in 2016.
Toronto, last year’s MLS Cup runner-up, recently completed stadium renovations to expand capacity and is showing how significant player investments – the club’s $16.5 million in total designated player salary is tops among MLS teams this year – can pay off. New York and Orlando have meanwhile been sterling examples of the league’s recent expansion success. The two teams remain top-five in attendance in their third season of play.
The following tables are comparisons of the values between last year and this year, for illustrative purposes.
MLS TEAM VALUE
D.C. United had the biggest increase in value, at a whopping 48%, followed by New York Red Bulls (38%) and Chicago Fire (36%). On the opposite end are Houston Dynamo, Seattle Sounders and Columbus Crew, with increases of 1%, 4% and 6%, respectively.
MLS TEAM REVENUE
The New York Red Bulls have the highest revenue growth at 39% followed by Toronto FC at 21%. Interestingly the mid to bottom clubs on the table have seen very little growth, and only one club has reported a revenue decrease, Real Salt Lake.
MLS TEAM OPERATING INCOME
The results for the operating income demonstrate the continued investments being made into the league, as the revenues from expansion fees are not automatically put into the team coffers.