Market Monday (#1): New York City

Every Monday, starting January 7, theBRKDWN will be releasing our Market Monday segment. These will be a series of articles that will breakdown the history and markets of sports in different cities each week, focusing on five of the major professional sports leagues in North America,NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and MLS. I want to point out that in future Market Mondays not every city will have teams in all five of these major leagues. I will try to include only the most important and noteworthy information about each team including things like year established, years a team existed if they are no longer in existence or relocated, number of championships won or participated in, other cities where a franchise previously existed, financial information such as team estimated value, and any other noteworthy information. The very first Market Monday focuses on the city with the largest sports market in North America, home to some of the most valued teams and most expensive stadiums in sports — New York City.

***NOTE: I will be including the New Jersey Devils in this breakdown even though they are not geographically located in New York City. The same goes for other New York teams that geographically play outside of New York City***

New York City’s Sports Market Highlights

        New York City has more professional sports teams than any other city in the entire world with 11 teams across the five major leagues in North America: MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS. This means this week’s Market Monday will be longer than usual as there are more teams to cover. NYC is the most successful sports city in North America with a total of 54 championship titles across the five major leagues.

Of f these championships, 34 came from baseball alone (27 from the Yankees!). Baseball is extremely popular in New York City and for 54 years from 1903-1957, three MLB franchises called NYC home. Today, all three of these franchises are currently some of MLB’s most valuable teams.

        NYC is also home to some of sports’ most valuable franchises. The NBA’s NY Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA, the NY Yankees are the most valuable team in MLB, the New York Rangers are the most valuable team in the NHL, and the NY Giants are the third most valuable team in the NFL. New York sports teams play in some of the most expensive stadiums in the world — MetLife Stadium, the new Yankee Stadium, and Madison Square Garden.

        Let’s break down New York City’s sports market further.

MLB Breakdown

        MLB has 2 current teams in NYC, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Both of these teams play in different boroughs of NYC — the Yankees home stadium is in the Bronx while the Mets home is in Queens.

New York Yankees

        The Yanks have a rich history. Baseball stars like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter all helped make the New York Yankees the most dominant and successful franchise in baseball and in the history of sports with a total of 27 World Series championships. They are one of the most popular teams in baseball and attract an average of 43,000 fans to their home games —14,210 fans above the league average. In 2018, the NYY were worth an estimated $4 billion USD according to Forbes magazine which makes them the most valuable franchise in MLB and are worth $1 billion USD more than the second most valuable MLB team. They are the second most valuable sports franchise in North America and the fifth most valuable franchise in world.

        Not many people know that the Yankees started out as the Baltimore Orioles in 1901 (no relation to the current Baltimore Orioles) and moved to New York City to become the New York Highlanders in 1903. Eventually, they changed their name to the New York Yankees in 1913. The Yankees have 43 players and 11 managers in the Baseball Hall of Fame including the famous Babe Ruth, one of the five inaugural members ever inducted into the Hall of Fame.

        The NY Yankees play in Yankee Stadium which is the most expensive ballpark in the league to watch a baseball game. The current Yankee Stadium was built in 2009 to replace the old Yankee Stadium and can hold 47,309 people. It cost $1.5 billion USD to build and is constructed in a similar fashion to the original Yankee Stadium.

New York Mets

        The New York Mets do not have as much history as the Yankees do. The Mets were established in 1962 and only have two World Series championships. They are currently the sixth most valuable team in MLB currently worth $2.1 billion USD— well above the league average franchise value of $1.65 billion USD. The NYM have been playing out of Citi Field since 2009 which can hold up to 41,922 people.

        The NYM were awful their first few years in MLB. They had a losing record in their first seven seasons with over 100 losses in 5 of those 7 seasons from 1962-1968. The Mets went from almost last in the league in 1968 to becoming World Series Champions for the first time in franchise history the following season in 1969. This turnaround season is one of the more historic moments in the Mets franchise and is referred to as the season of the “Miracle Mets”.

Brooklyn Dodgers

        The Brooklyn Dodgers existed from 1884 until 1957 when the team relocated to LA to become the historic Los Angeles Dodgers, now MLB’s second most valuable team worth $3 billion USD. The Dodgers relocated because their home field, named Ebbets Field located in Brooklyn, was extremely worn down. As the team struggled to get approval to build a new stadium in Brooklyn, their owner decided it was easier to relocate. The owner of Dodgers also convinced the owner of the New York Giants (the MLB team) to also move west to San Francisco to continue the rivalry between the two teams.

        The Brooklyn Dodgers are known for one of the most iconic moments in all of professional sports. On April 15, 1947 the team signed Jackie Robinson — the first black player to ever play in the major leagues. This was not only notable in the sports world but it played an important role in helping alleviate racial discrimination in the United States. Jackie Robinson also became the MLB’s first ever Rookie of The Year and now the ROTY award is now named in his honor.   

New York Giants

        MLB’s fourth most valuable team in 2018 (worth $2.85 billion USD), the San Francisco Giants, once called New York City home and were known as the New York Giants. They played out of the Polo Grounds for their entire existence in New York from 1883-1957. The franchise won 5 of their 8 world series in New York.

        As mentioned before, the Giants owner in 1957 was convinced by the Dodgers owner to relocate to the West Coast in order to keep the Dodgers-Giants rivalry alive. I would say it was a good decision by both owners to relocate to the West Coast together considering the fact that the Giants and Dodgers franchises both sit in the top five of the MLB’s most valuable franchises.

NFL Breakdown

        NYC is home to two current NFL franchises who have shared a home stadium since 1984. The two teams have been playing in MetLife Stadium since 2010, which is located just outside NYC in East Rutherford, New Jersey. MetLife cost approximately $1.6 billion USD to build and is at the top of the list of the most expensive stadiums in the world. Like the Yankees and Mets, the Giants have a bit more history than the Jets do — likely because they were established first. Let’s break it down.

New York Giants

        The NY Giants were established in 1925 and have won eight total championships. Four of these have come in the Super Bowl era. The Giants are currently worth $3.3 billion USD meaning they are the third most valuable franchise in the NFL and the eighth most valuable sports franchise worldwide.

        The New York Giants were part of one of the most storied games in NFL history. In 1958 the Giants battled the Baltimore Colts for the championship in what was the very first NFL game that was nationally televised. The game was back-and-forth the entire time but in the dying seconds of the final quarter the Colts tied the game and sent it to overtime, making it the first overtime game in NFL championship history. The Colts ended up beating the Giants to win the game and this went down as “the greatest game ever played”.        

The average cost to attend a Giants game at MetLife (including a ticket, parking, food and a drink) is an average of about $406 USD. This sounds like a lot of money but compared to the rest of the league it’s on the cheaper side. Giant’s games rank as the 21st most expensive game to attend in NFL — there are 32 teams in the league.

New York Jets

        Going to a Jets game at MetLife stadium is even cheaper than a Giants game – something Jets fans can cheer about! Jets games are one of the cheapest in the league, costing an average of $328 USD (for ticket, parking, a hot dog and a drink) which ranks Jets’ games as the 29th most expensive game to attend in the NFL (again, out of 32 teams in the league).

        The Jets were established in 1960 and played as the New York Titans their first three seasons in the league. They became the New York Jets in 1964. The franchise has not been very successful. They have had a losing record for the last three years straight and haven’t made the playoffs in the last eight years. They’ve only made the playoffs 14 times in 59 seasons, and they have only ever won one championship, in 1969 under the leadership of QB Joe Namath. However, despite the NY Jets lack of success, they are ranked as the eighth most valuable team in the NFL and currently worth $2.85 billion USD.

NBA Breakdown

New York Knicks

        The Knicks were established in 1946 and were surprisingly very successful when they first entered the league, making the playoffs every year for their first 10 seasons as a franchise from 1946-1956. The Knicks even made the NBA Finals during this timeframe for three seasons straight from 1950-1953 but ultimately lost all three. Despite their success at making the playoffs, the Knicks have only won two NBA championships.

        The Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA worth $3.6 billion USD and play out of Madison Square Garden — one of the most expensive stadiums in the world worth $1.1 billion USD. MSG or “The Garden” is the second oldest arena in the NBA and is also one of the busiest music arenas in the world. You’re likely to spot famous celebrities sitting courtside at a Knicks home game in MSG on a regular basis.

Brooklyn Nets

        The Nets franchise was founded in New Jersey in 1967 as a team in the American Basketball Association. They played one season there until relocating to New York in 1968 and joined the NBA in 1976. The Nets went back to New Jersey in 1977 and remained there until 2012 when the team decided to head back to New York City in the borough of Brooklyn and become the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets franchise has won two championships as the NY Nets but both championships were won when the team was in the ABA, not the NBA.

        The Nets are currently worth $2.3 billion USD, making them the sixth most valuable franchise in the NBA. The Nets currently play out of the Barclays Centre which is worth about $1 billion USD and, like MSG, it is used to host concerts on a regular basis.

MLS Breakdown

New York City FC

        NYC FC entered the league in 2015 and are one of the newer franchises to become part of MLS. They are currently the seventh most valuable team in MLS, worth $278 million USD. They are owned by the New York Yankees and Manchester United (a famous soccer club in England’s Premier League). Their home pitch is Yankee Stadium and they have not won any MLS titles.

New York Red Bulls

        NY Red Bulls were one of the first 10 teams in the MLS in 1996 when the league began but were known as the Metrostars for the first decade of their existence and later became the Red Bulls in 2006. They are the older franchise of the two MLS clubs in NYC but are worth less than NYC FC, sitting as the 11th most valuable club in the MLS, worth $250 million USD. They have not won any MLS titles but did appear in the MLS Cup title one time in 2008. The Red Bulls play out of Red Bull arena which cost roughly $200 million USD to construct and holds 25,189 people.

NHL Breakdown

      Hockey is not overly popular in NYC. The city might be home to the most valuable team in the NHL but they are also home to the team with the lowest average attendance per game in the league. Let’s break it down further.

New York Rangers

        The Rangers are one of the NHL’s Original Six and were established in 1926. They were the first American team to ever win the Stanley Cup and have won four Stanley Cups in total. The Rangers had a 53-season Stanley Cup drought which came to an end when the team finally won a cup in the 1993-1994 season. They might hold the record for the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL but this never hurt their popularity as ticket sales stayed at a consistent rate during this time. The NY Rangers are the most valuable team in the NHL, valued at $1.55 billion USD. They generated just as much revenue in the last 10 years as the NY Islanders and New Jersey Devils combined! The Rangers currently share a home with the NY Knicks at the famous Madison Square Garden which is currently the oldest arena in the NHL.

New York Islanders

        The New York Islanders were established in 1972 and have won four Stanley Cups. These four Stanley Cups came in four consecutive seasons from 1979-1983 making this one of the greatest dynasties in sports. The Islanders are worth $440 million, well under the league average franchise value of $630 million USD. Last season, the Islanders had the lowest average attendance per game in the entire NHL attracting an average of 12,002 fans. The “Isles” are now sharing the Barclays Centre as their home arena with the Brooklyn Nets, but are, for some odd reason, still attached to their old home, Nassau Coliseum, and have a small chunk of their home games scheduled there this season.

New Jersey Devils

        This franchise was founded in 1974 in Kansas City and the team was first known as the Kansas City Scouts. They then moved to Colorado and became the Rockies in 1976 and eventually moved to New Jersey and became the New Jersey Devils in 1982. All three of the franchise’s Stanley Cups were won while the team was located in New Jersey and Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur was a part of all three of them. The Devils are worth $455 million USD making them the 19th most valuable team in the NHL. The Devils have started struggling with attendance and currently have the lowest average attendance per game in the NHL this season. The Devils home arena is the Prudential Center which seats 16,514 while average attendance is only 10,477 fans per game which means that at home games this season, almost 40% of the seats are empty.

NYC Sports Recap:

Total Championships: 58

Total value of current franchises (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, and MLS): $20.86 billion USD

New York City might just be one of the greatest sports cities in the world, home to some of the most valuable franchises in sports as well as being rich in sports history.

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