The Top 5 Richest MLS Teams in 2020
With the 2020 MLS season just a week away from starting, there are several teams poised to be the club holding the MLS Cup in November.
For those precious few teams that are favored to be at the top of each conference, the main factor in that success is how much money the club can generate to help with player development and high-profile transfers.
The MLS is in the midst of a three-year expansion that will take the league from 24 to 30
The six teams have paid anywhere from $150 to $300 million to join the league over the next three seasons and the first two teams of the expansion plan, Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC will lace them up in 2020.
But the six new franchises will certainly have their work cut out for them as the most popular franchises in the MLS have current values that stretch up to $500 million in total value and are featured as the richest MLS teams in 2020.
1. Atlanta United – $500 Million
Playing in the state of the art Mercedes Benz Stadium provides the top team on the richest franchises list with a truckload of revenue as Atlanta United FC leads Forbes list of the most valuable teams with a value of $500 million.
Atlanta easily tops all MLS teams with annual revenue of roughly $78 million in 2019 and they were one of a handful of teams to turn a profit last year, making around $7 million after all expenses, not bad for a team that came into the league in 2017.
— IKnowToronto (@KnowToronto) November 5, 2019
2. LA Galaxy – $480 Million
The leading club for MLS Cups, the LA Galaxy with five championships, comes in second on the Forbes list with a franchise value of $480 million.
The Galaxy were one of the initial ten teams to start the MLS in 1996, so their inclusion at the top of this list, especially when you factor in the success of the franchise shouldn’t be surprising.
The Galaxy are second to Atlanta in annual generated revenue, bringing in around $64 million in 2019. Despite having a few high-level salaries on their roster, the Galaxy did make around $5 million according to the financial magazine.
3. LAFC – $475 Million
The best team in last year’s regular season was LAFC, but despite their place as the heavy favorite to win the MLS Cup, the team lost a heartbreaker to eventual champs, Seattle. But the excitement around LAFC’s season propelled the franchise’s value to $475 million.
Founded in 2018, LAFC has made tremendous strides in just two seasons of play and have quickly driven their revenue mark to $50 million, third-best in the MLS last season. The club did lose close to $5 million in total revenue last season, despite the large revenue stream.
4. Seattle Sounders – $405 Million
The 2019 MLS Cup champion, the Seattle Sounders, has one of the most devoted fan bases of any sport in the United States. The Sounders have been in the league since 2009 and have won two championships over the last four seasons.
The club is worth close to $405 million on a revenue stream of $47 million against an expense sheet totaling $46 million, giving the club a $1 million profit for 2019.
5. Toronto FC – $395 Million
The fifth richest team in the MLS is north of the border in Canada as the Toronto FC is worth just under $400 million according to Forbes. The $395 million dollar valuation is boosted by a revenue stream of $43 million in 2019.
The Toronto franchise did lose the most money according to the magazine with a net operating loss of $19 million for 2019. The loss was three million more than what the Chicago Fire and NYCFC lost last year.
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