NHL Team Values Decline For First Time In Two Decades: Forbes 2020 NHL Rankings

Photo: NHL via Getty Images

The NHL’s top five franchises are holding strong thanks to local TV deals, while the remainder of the league is feeling the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The league as a whole experienced its first decline in two decades according to Forbes annual NHL Team Values report.

The league’s five most valuable teams—New York Rangers ($1.65 billion), Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.5 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.34 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.085 billion) and Boston Bruins ($1 billon)—accounted for almost a quarter of the league’s revenue. Without them, the league would have lost $50 million.

The league played only 85% of its regular season games in the 2019-2020 season due to the pandemic. The 2020-21 season, which in a normal year would already be two months old, might not start until mid January, cutting one-third of the 82-game regular season. Jam-packed arenas are unlikely for now, with the cash from tickets, suites, concessions, sponsorships and parking that account for more than 70% of total revenue in a typical season.

2020 NHL Franchise Values


The result: the average NHL team value fell 2%, to $653 million, the first decline since 2001. Revenue for the league totaled $4.4 billion during the 2019-20 season, 14% less than the previous year. Operating income was $250 million, down 68%.

The Capitals were valued as the League’s 9th most valuable team at $775 million in 2019. That was up 7% from the previous year’s valuation, a 1% greater increase than the league average increase. The Capitals had been ascending the list for the last several years.

Forbes 2019 NHL Team Values
Forbes 2015 NHL Team Values

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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