The Twins are worth $1.15 billion, according to a new valuation released by Forbes this week, ranking No. 22 among major league teams. There are several other interesting pieces of data relating to that and other valuations:
• The Twin Cities now have three pro franchises valued at $1 billion or more. The Twins reached that mark in Forbes' valuations last year, and saw their value increase by $125 million from last year to this year. The Twins were valued at $356 million by Forbes in 2009, their last year in the Metrodome.
The Timberwolves reached the billion mark in the most recent Forbes valuations in February, checking in at $1.06 billion. And the Vikings are worth more than both of them combined, $2.4 billion, according to Forbes.
All three can thank, in large part, massive TV contracts that have propped up franchise values across the board in MLB and the NFL and NBA.
The Wild, by the way, was valued at $440 million in the most recent Forbes valuations. That ranks No. 18 among NHL teams — but that's tied for the highest ranking within a league among the four local teams along with the Vikings, who are also No. 18 in the NFL. The Twins, as noted, are No. 22 in MLB. The Wolves are No. 27 in the NBA. So all four are in the bottom half of their leagues. Minnesota United was not yet included in the most recent MLS valuations.
• Even with the Twins being worth more than a billion dollars, massive disparities among MLB clubs remain. The Yankees are valued at $4 billion, and five other teams are worth at least $2 billion.
• Forbes breaks down its valuation attribution into four categories: revenue shared by all teams, city and market size, stadium and brand.
• Not surprisingly, the value of revenue shared by teams is similar across the board. But the Yankees get nearly $2 billion of their value from their market and another $700 million from their brand. The Twins? Their market is worth $375 million and their brand is worth $110 million. These are teams that compete against each other, and we know how it usually ends in the playoffs.
• That said, when you compare the Twins to a rival market like Milwaukee, you see some positives. Forbes says the Brewers are worth $1.03 billion — or $120 million less than the Twins. Much of that gap comes from the Twins having a more lucrative market, stadium and brand.
The White Sox have the highest value of any American League Central team ($1.5 billion), with much of that attributable to their market size.
• While it should be noted that valuations are not equal to revenue — they're merely estimates of a team's value, useful primarily in case of the sale of a team — the Twins' value has followed a lucrative trajectory.
They were bought for $44 million in 1984 by the Pohlad family. That's the equivalent of about $105 million in 2018 dollars. But if the Twins are really worth $1.15 billion … well, then they're worth a little over a billion dollars more than the Pohlads paid for them 34 years ago.
That's a pretty nice return on investment.