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.
By Jon Sorensen