The value of the Toronto Raptors increased by $60 million U.S. over the last year, the business magazine Forbes says.
Forbes attributes the Raptors’ strong financial returns to season tickets selling out for the first time since the 2000/2001 season, which marked the midst of the Vince Carter era.
They also cite a host of new sponsors — Sun Life Insurance, Sentry Investments, Unilever, Aeolus Tires — and the team’s good form, which has propelled it to second in the Eastern Conference as of Jan. 21.
The franchise is now valued at $980 million, an increase of $460 million since 2014.
Two years ago, just three NBA teams were worth $1 billion. Now, 13 teams have surpassed that amount. The average franchise is worth $1.25 billion, a 13 per cent rise in the past year.
The New York Knicks ($3 billion) regained the top spot from the Los Angeles Lakers ($2.7 billion).
The Raptors are the 14th highest valued of the 30 NBA teams.
Forbes say only the Brooklyn Nets failed to make an operating profit in the 2014/15 season, a result of an excessive team payroll and luxury tax payments. They apparently lost $5.7 million.
By contrast, the Raptors pre-tax profit stood at $23.5 million.