The Charlotte Hornets are now valued at $780 million, up 4 percent from last year but still well below the league average, according to new valuations released by Forbes this week. The Charlotte team ranks No. 28 in the NBA.
Still, the franchise’s worth has improved vastly from $278 million in 2010, when Michael Jordan became the majority owner. Going into this season, the Hornets sold over 11,000 season tickets, more than double the number sold the year Jordan bought the team.
The Hornets’ attendance at the Spectrum Center last season was 17,458, ranking it No. 18 in the NBA, Forbes said. The team “also took a hit,” Forbes added, when the NBA decided to pull its 2017 All-star Game from Charlotte over North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which the league says is discriminatory toward the LGBT community.
The Hornets (who fell to 24-32 after losing to the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night) have been working to boost ticket sales this season through initiatives like fan giveaways, theme nights and new food and beverage offerings at the uptown arena.
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The average NBA franchise is worth $1.36 billion, a 3.5-fold increase over the last five years, Forbes said. Bolstering that increase is the league’s $24 billion media deal with ESPN and TNT that kicked off this season.
The New York Knicks, worth $3.3 billion, are the NBA’s most valuable team for the second year, Forbes said. The Los Angeles Lakers rank No. 2 at $3 billion. The two teams combined have lost 68 percent of their games over the last three-plus seasons, Forbes said.