The Chicago Cubs experienced unprecedented success on the field in 2016 as they won the World Series championship, and as could be expected, it’s had an incredible impact on the team’s bottom line.
According to a new valuation of the franchise, released by Forbes Magazine on Tuesday, the Cubs are now baseball’s fourth-most valuable team, with an estimated value of $2.68 billion, a 22 percent increase over last year’s number.
Last season’s value of $2.2 billion put the Cubs in fifth position in baseball, but they did manage to climb a spot this time around. The New York Yankees are still the gold standard of MLB franchises, with a league-leading value of $3.7 billion. That’s nearly $1 billion more than the second place Los Angeles Dodgers, who check in at $2.75 billion.
The Boston Red Sox are still narrowly ahead of the Cubs, with an estimated valuation of $2.7 billion in the latest Forbes rankings.
In just one year, the average value of a Major League team has skyrocketed by nearly 20 percent, now averaging $1.54 billion per team. The magazine cites a surge in profitability and massive new local television deals as the driving forces behind the increased value of teams.
With the opening of the new Park at Wrigley on Monday, and with the team’s continued success as a perennial World Series contender, that number figures to only climb, and there is another element that could work in their favor: a new TV deal.
In the coming years, rumors have been swirling that the Cubs will launch their own television network, and judging by how the YES Network has filled the New York Yankees’ coffers ever since it opened, the Cubs and the Ricketts family could be set to really cash in if that is indeed their plan.