The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only NHL team to crack Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports franchises. The Leafs are #26 on the list of 50 organizations, worth a reported $1.15 billion.
Real Madrid, the Spanish soccer giant, finished first on the list with an approximate value of $3.44 billion. Soccer dominated the list, with Barcelona and Manchester United rounding out the top three clubs. Numerous NFL and MLB teams also made the list, but hockey fans may be surprised and perhaps a little disappointed that three NBA teams are on the list while Toronto is the lone representative from the NHL. The full list is open for debate, but it says a lot about the NHL as a whole that only one team made the cut.
Toronto has reportedly been the NHL’s most valuable club since 2005, which is rather remarkable considering how many underwhelming years the team has had out on the ice. Toronto is preparing to celebrate its 100th birthday and they’re hoping to host four of the sport’s biggest events in an effort to reward their fans. It’s unlikely that will happen, but the NHL will have a tough time not rewarding Toronto given the fact any event held in the city is an easy money-making opportunity.