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Maple Leafs represent NHL on Forbes’ 50 most valuable franchises

Jul 16, 2013, 9:01 AM EDT

Phil Kessel celebrates with Dion Phaneuf Getty Images

Anyone remember when James van Riemsdyk referred to the Toronto Maple Leafs as the New York Yankees of the NHL?

That comparison might not work when talking about actual playing success over the last 40 years, but those two franchises lead their respective sports in terms of financial worth.

Forbes released its list of the 50 most valuable franchises in the world and the Maple Leafs are the NHL’s sole representatives.

Toronto, as previously discussed, is worth $1 billion, which is good enough to put them in a tie with the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Lakers for 31st place.

The least valuable franchise on the list is the Oakland Raiders at $785 million. Based on Forbes Nov. 2012 valuations, the New York Rangers fell just short with a worth of $750 million. The Montreal Canadiens ranked third in the NHL at $575 million.

And in case you’re wondering, Real Madrid ranks number one in the world with a value of $3.3 billion, which is a billion more than the fourth place Yankees.

  1. ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    i’ve never been to ACC, but I’d assume their beer prices are as astronomical as everywhere else. since they can’t bring home a cup, you guys north of the border should really consider addressing that with management. raising beer consumption will help with the pain of being cup-less for so long. trust me, I’m a Flyers fan.

    • yougotgirouxed - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      That is a dumb thing you just said.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        that is a vague thing you just said.

        the leafs are rich. they charge a lot for beer. they can’t win a cup. fans deserve better. did i spell it out well enough that time?

      • ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        lol that came from the chief of all dumb comments, yougotgirouxed. the only person that’s ever made me side with Pens fans over a Flyers fan.

    • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      You’re not wrong. Leafs have the highest ticket prices in the NHL. Beer and food ain’t cheap. Parking is insanely pricey too. The Leafs have the record for the most consecutive sell outs by a North American franchise. It goes back to the 1940’s and the waiting list is about 10 years for season tickets, so the streak will go on indefinitely.

      But as of now I’m happy where the Leafs are at. The 9 year drought is over, finally! I don’t think they are cup contenders yet, but they have a very solid core of players and are a lot more competitive now than they’ve been since the 90’s.

  2. joey4id - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    At least they are tied with notable franchises. Leafs argueably have the best fans amongst the big 4 pro team sports in NA.Leafs are stuck at 13 SCs since 66-67. Now there is loyalty.

    • ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      how do so many people disagree with what he said?

      • dueman - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        He should have said most fans instead of best fans. The reason they are worth so much is because of all the merchandise and what not that they sell. But to say “best fans” is stupid, and I’m a Leaf fan. Every sports franchise has some pretty great fans, as well as some not so great fans. No franchise can make the claim of “Best fans!”

      • ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        well based on that last sentence, i think his evaluation was based on loyalty…. and it’s tough to argue that the fans aren’t probably the most loyal, at the very least.

        what does “best fans” mean to you though? i’m with him, sticking by your team through hardships is no doubt the sign of a great fan.

      • dueman - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        When he said “best fans” is why I think people are shooting his comment down. If you take best as meaning loyal, then I would agree with you that the Leafs have very loyal fans who have stayed with this team through some pretty rough times. I’m just saying that using the word “best” can be taken in a wrong way as well.

        You are a Flyers fan, are you not? Since I’m a Leaf fan, does that make me a better fan than you? By all means, I’ll take the praise lol, but really we’re both just fans of our teams. Every team has some pretty loyal fans is all I’m saying.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        good points. i also came up with this argument against myself…. if the Leafs win a cup, are they instantly not the best fans anymore because they lose their “loyal” label? i guess i get it now.

    • yougotgirouxed - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      13 Cups. For some reason I dont feel bad at all.

      -Philly 4/4 fan

      • dueman - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        And you shouldn’t! You should bleed orange and black, just as I bleed blue and white. Cheers!

  3. ch1411 - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    How do you quantify that “Leafs arguably have the best fans amonst the big 4 pro team sports”?

    The team has not one one single championship since 1967; has basically been awful for most of those 40+ years; have been miss-managed year after year etc. Yet the “best fans” of this moribund team, overpay for tickets that are clearly geared to the corporate crowd (thus alienating the “true” fan) while making the rink experience akin to going to the opera with the disinterest shown during the game because the “fans” are stuffing their faces in the corporate lounges between periods while missing half the game in the process. The media perpetuates the myth of the “greatness” of this team by covering them, for reasons unknown, 24/7/365.

    Bottom line, this team may make lots of money and run a solid business model (by jacking up prices and alienating most fans who can’t afford the tickets) but the team is a laughing-stock outside the 416/905 area codes.

    Carolina?! Tampa?! Dallas?! Anaheim?! What do they have in common….?

    All non-hockey hot-beds have all won a Cup since the Laffs last hoisted the Cup.

    • ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      …..soooooo what about the several million diehard fans OUTSIDE THE ARENA!? you think following a “laughing stock” is an easy and enjoyable thing to do? those people that sit at home and watch every game, just to see them lose more than half, are true fans of their team.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Reasons unknown? Here’s a hint: $$$$$$$$

      Can’t argue with the argument about lack of real fans at the games though. The place is quiet and the platinums are empty for about half the game on most nights. Couple that with the fact that when they do get into the game it’s to chant “let’s go Blue Jays” after the first bad loss of the season and I agree, ‘best fans’ is a stretch. And I am one.

    • dueman - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Nothing you said has anything to do with fan base! You obviously don’t understand what it means to be a fan. People that only like winning teams are called “band wagon jumpers.” Being a fan is about sticking with your team through thick and thin, and Toronto fans have definitely proved that. Maybe the word “best” shouldn’t have been used, like I said up top, as it can be misconstrued, but loyal, us Leaf fans are. The rest of what you said is just stupid, and you are just another hater. There are Leaf fans every where, just look in the stands during any Leaf road game.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        We do have plenty of bandwagon jumpers in Toronto. They’re called Jays fans. Leafs fans are passionate but unfortunately, like the above poster said, those ones have a tough time making it into the rink.

    • elrock7 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Check merchandise sales numbers around the world . leafs, by far out-distance every other NHL team. Not even close. Best fans, most fans… blah blah blah

  4. pastabelly - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Two cities have two franchises in the Top 11 – NY and Boston. That’s why these are referred to as the best sports cities in the US. It has nothing to do with east coast bias.

  5. earpaniac - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    If “loyalty” is what makes you the greatest fans in the 4 major sports, then Cubs fans win hands down. No championship in more than 100?!?! Years, no modern stadium, mostly day games, and they still draw pretty darn good.

  6. kingcobraman - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Every team has loyal fans whether juniors’ or pro… Toronto is all about big business and the $$$ … the fans are just sheep following their love of hockey… Corporate accounts are more important the average joe fan….

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Flyer fans no room to rip on Leaf fans

    • ibieiniid - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      who’s ripping on anybody? go back to your porn please, dickhead pens fan.

  8. frankiesweep - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I know why Leafs fans are so angry all the time when u disparage their team… If I paid those prices for nothing except a once a decade playoff choke I’d be p o’d too.

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