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Sabres Rank 28th in Value Among NHL Teams

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Forbes’ annual list ranks Buffalo as the 28th most-valuable team

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

For the fifth straight season, the New York Rangers have been ranked as the NHL’s most valuable team, with an overall worth of $1.65 billion. The Buffalo Sabres come in at 28th of 31 teams, with a worth of $400 million.

According to Forbes, here’s how they determined each team’s worth:

“Revenue and operating income are for the 2018-19 season, include postseason and applicable non-NHL arena revenue, and are net of revenue sharing and arena debt service. All figures are in U.S. dollars based on average exchange rate during 2017-18 season. Team values are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) of teams based on current arena deal (unless new arena is pending). Operating income is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Debt includes arena when recourse to team owner.”

It comes as little surprise that the Rangers are at the top of the list, given the climate of New York City, its revenue and surrounding companies and environment. Their value rose six percent since 2018.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were ranked second with a worth of $1.5 billion, a three percent increase. The Montreal Canadiens ($1.34 billion) and Chicago Blackhawks ($1.085 billion) were also near the top.

The Sabres’ value changed by seven percent, with their revenue listed at $135 million and operating income at $1.9 million.

Below the Sabres in the rankings: Columbus ($325 million), Florida ($310 million) and Arizona ($300 million). The Sabres were in the same position last season, with a franchise value of $375 million. In 2017, the franchise was valued at $350 million.

Compare those numbers to 2011; just over nine months after Terry Pegula bought the team, the Sabres were valued at $173 million. Obviously there are other factors to consider besides ownership (players like Jack Eichel, lucrative TV rights deals, plus changes in the economy as a whole), but it’s interesting to see how much has changed in those years.

Check out the full list of “The Business of Hockey” to see how Forbes valuates each NHL team here.