NEW YORK • A failure to win on the court is not stopping the New York Knicks from growing in value.
According to Forbes magazine, the Knicks grew by over 15 per cent in the last year and are worth US$4.6 billion (S$6.4 billion), the highest in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The increase, due to a renovation of their arena, a blockbuster local TV deal and playing in the richest North American sports market, has occurred despite the Knicks (17-37) closing in on their seventh straight season of missing the play-offs.
New York, the league's most valuable team for the fifth straight year, have also not won the championship since their second title in 1973.
According to Forbes, only the NFL's Dallas Cowboys (US$5.5 billion) are worth more than the Knicks among North American sports franchises.
League wide, Forbes rates the average of NBA franchises above US$2 billion for the first time. The magazine lists the average value at US$2.12 billion.
Slightly behind the Knicks are the Los Angeles Lakers (US$4.4 billion) and the Golden State Warriors (US$4.3 billion).
The Chicago Bulls (US$3.2 billion) and Boston Celtics (US$3.1 billion) are also worth more than US$3 billion. The Los Angeles Clippers (US$2.6 billion) rank sixth, followed by the Brooklyn Nets (US$2.5 billion), Houston Rockets (US$2.475 million), Dallas Mavericks (US$2.4 billion) and defending NBA champions Toronto Raptors (US$2.1 billion).
Only the Raptors, with a 25 per cent boost, had a higher jump in year-on-year value than Golden State (23). The Warriors, despite a league low record of 12-42, were helped by a new US$1.6 billion home arena in San Francisco.
Forbes said the revenue of the 30 teams was a combined US$8.8 billion, a league record, and should top US$9 billion this season.
The high growth rate - revenues jumped by 10 per cent - has been prompted by strong international income and major media rights deals.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS