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Are MLS teams worth more than NHL teams after Orlando City’s $490 million valuation?

Forbes ranked the 20 existing MLS teams in August 2017 based on 2016 revenue and other data. Here's Forbes' ranking:

We all know that soccer is growing in popularity, but could it be that the value of MLS teams is skyrocketing as well, surpassing some NHL franchises?

Wednesday’s news that Orlando City SC principal owner Flávio Augusto da Silva sold an 8.63 percent ownership stake in the club to Toronto investor Albert Friedberg for $42.3 million raised a lot of eyebrows around the league and the sports business community. That transaction would value Orlando City at $490.53 million — significantly higher than any previous valuation for a MLS franchise.

In Forbes magazine’s most recent valuation of MLS teams — published in August 2017, and using revenue data from the 2016 season — Orlando City was ranked No. 5 in the league at $272 million. The league’s most valuable team, according to Forbes, was the L.A. Galaxy, worth $315 million. (See gallery above for all the MLS team rankings.)

Still, Wednesday’s $490 million valuation of Orlando City would rank it higher than 15 NHL franchises, based on what Forbes valued them in December 2017.

Those NHL teams are: Anaheim Ducks ($460 million), St. Louis Blues ($450 million), Minnesota Wild ($440 million), Calgary Flames ($430 million), Ottawa Senators ($420 million), New Jersey Devils ($400 million), New York Islanders ($395 million), Tampa Bay Lightning ($390 million), Colorado Avalanche ($385 million), Nashville Predators ($380 million), Winnipeg Jets ($375 million), Carolina Hurricanes ($370 million), Buffalo Sabres ($350 million), Columbus Blue Jackets ($315 million) and the Florida Panthers ($305 million).

Now, just as Orlando City’s value has increased substantially since Forbes released its MLS report, the same might be said for the NHL franchises on Forbes’ ranking of those teams.

We’ll have to wait and see, but you can bet MLS teams are likely feeling all little better today about their valuations.

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