Owning a sports franchise can be quite lucrative. Depending on attendance, merchandise sales, TV deals and other factors, owners can rake in millions of dollars a year.

Forbes has put together a list of the top 50 most valuable sports teams. Lets take a look at the top 15.

#1 Real Madrid

Value: $3.3 billion

Owner: Club members

Los Merengues finished runner-up this year in La Liga and the Copa del Ray, but nab the title of the world’s most valuable sports team thanks to the highest revenues in sports ($650 million during the 2011-12 season). Real inked new deals with Adidas and Emirates Airlines over the last 12 months that will bring in roughly $80 million combined annually.

#2 Manchester United

Value: $3.165 billion
Owner: Glazer family

Manager Alex Ferguson retired this year after leading United to its record 20th league title. Sir Alex was at the helm for 27 years and helped create one of the most valuable brands in sports. The team’s record shirt sponsorship deal with General Motors for the automaker’s Chevrolet brand kicks off in 2014-15 and is worth $559 million over seven years.

#3 Barcelona

Value: $2.6 billion
Owner: Club members

Barca added 21-year-old Brazilian star Neymar (above) in June in a transfer deal worth $74 million. Barcelona’s jersey sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investments is worth an average of $38 million a year through the 2015-16 season.

#4 New York Yankees

Value: $2.3 billion
Owner: Steinbrenner Family

The Yankees sold part of their interest in the YES Network in connection with Fox’s purchase of 49% of the regional sport network in late 2012. The team’s rights fee from YES will increase from $85 million this season to $350 million in 2042 as part of the deal.

#5 Dallas Cowboys

Value: $2.1 billion
Owner: Jerry Jones

The Cowboys have been the NFL’s most valuable team since 2007 thanks to the league’s highest sponsorship and premium seating revenues–a combined $200 million. The ‘Boys inked QB Tony Romo to a six-year, $108 million contract extension in March despite only one playoff win during his eight years under center.

#6 New England Patriots

Value: $1.635 billion
Owner: Robert Kraft

The Patriots have sold out every game at Gillette Stadium since it opened in 2002 and have more than 60,000 people on a waiting list for season tickets. The Pats increased ticket prices last season for the first time since 2008. Tom Brady (above) and John Elway are the only QBs to start in 5 Super Bowls.

#7 Los Angeles Dodgers

Value: $1.615 billion
Owner: Guggenheim Baseball

The Dodgers are close to finalizing a 25-year deal with Time Warner Cable worth as much as $8.5 billion. The deal would kick off next season. The Dodgers opening day payroll in 2012 was $105 million, but this year’s is over $200 million thanks to a flurry of trades, contract extensions and free agent signings.

#8 Washington Redskins

Value: $1.6 billion
Owner: Daniel Snyder

The team traded three first-round draft picks and a second-round choice to the Rams last year in order to select Robert Griffin III (above) with the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. Griffin delivered by leading the ‘Skins to their first division title since 1999. His jersey set a single season record for most sales on NFLShop.com.

#9 New York Giants

Value: $1.468 billion
Owners: John Mara, Steven Tisch

The team did not increase ticket prices in 2012, despite heavy demand for tickets following a second Super Bowl title in five years. MetLife is paying more than $425 million over 25 years for naming rights to stadium the Giants share with the Jets.

#10 Arsenal

Value: $1.326 billion
Owner: Stan Kroenke

The Gunners had matchday revenue of $149 million during the 2011-12 season, the third-highest in soccer, due to capacity crowds at 60,400-seat Emirates Stadium.

#11 Boston Red Sox

Value: $1.312 billion
Owners: John Henry, Thomas Werner

Fenway Park was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for a $39.4 million tax credit. Henry and Werner also own Liverpool FC through Fenway Sports Group.

#12 Bayern Munich

Value: $1.309 billion
Owner: Club members

Bayern improved on its runner-up finish in the UEFA Champions League last year to win the title in 2013, which was their fifth crown overall. Bayern revenues are twice as high as its nearest competitor, Borussia Dortmund, in the Bundesliga.

#13 Houston Texans

Value: $1.305 billion
Owner: Robert McNair

The Texans are one of the NFL’s most profitable teams thanks to 200 luxury suites and 8,900 club seats that generate $47 million annually. The team also possesses the NFL’s second biggest stadium naming rights deal, which is worth $300 million over 30 years from Reliant Energy.

#14 New York Jets

Value: $1.284 billion
Owner: Robert Wood Johnson IV

The Jets’ one-year Tim Tebow experiment was a disaster as the team finished with a 6-10 record and GM Mike Tannenbaum was fired. The Jets cut prices by as much as 52% last year on 12,000 upper-deck seats to help boost demand.

#15 Philadelphia Eagles

Value: $1.26 billion
Owner: Jeffrey Lurie

The Andy Reid era ended in January after 14 seasons and nine playoff appearances. The Eagles hired Chip Kelly (above) from the University of Oregon in a five-year, $32.5 million deal. The Eagles are investing $125 million to renovate Lincoln Financial Field over the next two years. The makeover will include more seating, two new hi-def video screens and other amenities.

To View The Rest of The Top 50 Head Over To Forbes


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