Forbes has released its annual report on the rankings of NHL teams by value. The Chicago Blackhawks slot in at fourth in the league, valued at $1.4 billion. Over the past year, their value has grown 29% and over five years it has grown 51%. The Wirtz family still owns the team.
The three teams in front of the Blackhawks are the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New York Rangers. The Rangers are the first team in league history to be worth at least $2 billion.
Hockey-related revenue is expected to continue to grow. This is the number the NHL salary cap is tied to. Projections have the NHL hitting $6.0 Billion in this area around 2025.
Looking at projections of team values, one NHL investor said, “NBA teams have been selling for six to eight times revenue. The NHL probably doesn’t have the international growth prospects of the NBA—like China—but the league is certainly worth five times revenue. People haven’t realized it because so few teams have changed hands and most of them have been bottom of the barrel.”
The NHL has seen a massive growth in revenue due to many reasons. The biggest one is the seven-year media rights deal with Turner Sports. That new deal more than doubled the year-to-year average in TV revenue. The NHL is also moving toward adding advertisements on uniforms, following in the NBA's footsteps.
The Blackhawks still have a long road ahead. With Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aging and consuming most of the payroll, the Blackhawks have struggled to be an annual playoff contender. Signs are not good with the team's sellout streak ending earlier this season. But with both Stan Bowman and Jeremy Colliton gone, hopefully the Blackhawks can turn it around.