New York Rangers Hit $2bn Value
Credit: Richiekim at English Wikipedia, Madison Square Garden Transformation Stage 3, CC BY-SA 3.0
2020 was a difficult year for sports, with teams finding their revenue hit through a lack of crowds at games.
Whilst it seemed for much of this year we were clear of the issues, the NHL calendar was recently hit by more restrictions in a major blow to some teams. However, one team that may have enough to ride out the storm is the New York Rangers, who have recently been named the most valuable hockey team in the US. Their value is believed to be more than $2bn, and that makes them the first team to achieve that ceiling. They’re ahead of the Toronto Maple Leaves ($1.8bn) and Montreal Canadiens ($1.6bn). They’re valued at a whopping $600m more than the next US team, the Chicago Blackhawks.
One significant reason for the uplift in value is the improved TV deal with ESPN and Turner, which began this season. It will pay the NHL an average of $625m per year for the next seven years, increasing more than 100% on the previous deal. There’s also an increase in commercial activity to factor in, with Madison Square Garden’s $1bn renovation eight years ago helping the Rangers reap significant rewards in terms of commercial revenue and maximizing the profit from their returning crowds. As Blue Line Station reports, there’s also been a significant uplift in the revenue clubs have seen from uniform advertising. It is believed that helmet logos alone resulted in $100m extra revenue; the bigger the franchise, the bigger the earning potential.
The additional value is at odds with the favorites for winning the Stanley Cup. The Rangers are well down the Bwin list of favorites, behind the likes of Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes. Surprisingly, the latter is behind the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Metropolitan Division but not fancied to make the final.
The Rangers have been in good form of late, but their recent defeat against Carolina Avalanche has hit their hopes of winning their first Stanley Cup since 1994. Their 3-7 reverse at Madison Square Garden ended a streak of seven successive victories, but it is hoped it will only be a temporary blip. After all, a Stanley Cup win would only further their value and add a few more million to their commercial ventures. It’s not all about money either; being top of the NHL value chart is one thing, but they’d surely swap that for being top on the ice and bringing home the Stanley Cup.
Coach Gerard Gallant won’t be too fussed about this ‘accolade’, certainly not after the recent defeat. “We just gave them too many scoring chances, too many opportunities,” he said of the game. “We opened the door for them. We didn’t play good, strong defense like we had to, and we talked about it. We turned some pucks over. They took advantage of it.”
Their opponents may have taken advantage of their poor defense on the ice, but that is one small chapter of a much bigger story. In the wider narrative, it is Gallant and the Rangers taking advantage of market conditions to add value to the team and raise hopes of a first Stanley Cup in almost thirty years.