The Seattle Sounders may not lead the way on the field, but they set the pace for the rest of Major League Soccer off it.
Seattle is the most valuable MLS franchise, according to Forbes. The business magazine estimates the Sounders’ worth at $175 million (£108.3 million) — some $5 million (£3.1 million) more than the second-placed L.A. Galaxy.
Forbes ranks the New England Revolution 12th (out of 19 teams) with an estimated value of $89 million (£55.1 million) , and (L.A.-based) Chivas USA ranks last at $64 million (£39.6 million).
Like most sports teams around the world, the Sounders benefit from their fanatical fan support. They have broken the MLS attendance record for five straight years, culminating in 2013 when an average crowd of 44,038 attended their home games at CenturyLink.
Forbes estimates that MLS teams make 90% of their revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, luxury-box seating and non-MLS events, and the Sounders earned an estimated $48 million (£29.7 million) in 2012.
The report claims the average MLS team is worth $103 million (£63.8 million) and ten teams are profitable. Five years ago, most teams were losing money and the average franchise was worth $37 million (£23 million). The change reflects the tremendous business strides MLS has made in recent years, as the league looks to capitalize on the sport’s growing popularity in the United States.
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Photo via Facebook/Seattle Sounders FC