Blues’ value ranked 28th by Forbes

Blues’ value ranked 28th by Forbes

Blues’ value ranked 28th by Forbes

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by Andrew Allsman, HockeyStL

KMOV.com

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM

(HockeySTL)-- Forbes released its annual valuations of all 30 National Hockey League teams on Monday and despite moving two spots in the rankings, the St. Louis Blues are still near the bottom of the pack.

Forbes ranked the Blues’ value as 28th in the NHL, better than only the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blues’ position in the rankings is two better than where the club was last year at this time. When the list came out last season, the Blues were dead last and valued at just $130 million, which is approximately the price the team was last sold for.

The Blues were purchased by Tom Stillman, who is a local beer distributor, and a group of investors in May, 2012. The club, along with the then-American Hockey League affiliate Peoria Rivermen and the Peabody Opera House, sold for a reported price near $130 million to Stillman. Last year’s $130 million value was a 17 percent drop from the Blues’ 2011 value $157 million value.

The club struggled to find a buyer willing to purchase it when it was put up for sale by former owner Dave Checketts in 2011. The reported asking price of the franchise came down substantially as the sale process continued on for two years and eventually Stillman bought the team and began working to turn the team’s finances around.

The Blues are now worth $185 million according to Forbes, which is a 42 percent value increase from last season. Forbes reported that the Blues lost $2.5 million over the last year. Eleven other teams lost money last season, in large part to the NHL lockout that lasted into January and consumed nearly half of the 2012-13 season.

Every year around the same time, Forbes releases its assessments of each NHL team’s worth, and numbers are vastly improving across the board. The average NHL team has a value of $413 million according to Forbes, which is a 46 percent increase from last season.

The Forbes report has Toronto ($1.15 billion), New York Rangers ($850 million), Montreal ($775 million), Vancouver ($700 million), and Chicago ($625 million) listed as the League’s most valuable franchises in 2013.

“Our data comes primarily from sports bankers, public documents (municipal arena leases and financial reports), consultants who provide research and conduct studies for cities on the economic impact of an NHL team, arena naming rights and arena financing, credit rating agencies, player agents, network and cable executives, arena operators and, in a few cases, the teams themselves,” the article explained.

“Our revenue figures include proceeds from non-NHL events that go to the team owner, such as concerts, and subtract arena-generated funds that are used to pay arena debt, and are adjusted for the league’s revenue-sharing system.”

 Most NHL teams reportedly lose money every season. St. Louis has always acted on a tight budget, but Stillman and company aren’t letting that affect the on-ice team. The Blues are currently 13th in the NHL in spending, sitting just over $546,000 away from the NHL's $64.3 million salary cap ceiling. The Blues have increased their player salary spending by nearly $11 million from last season.

According to Forbes, the Blues brought in $72 million in revenue over the last year, which is below the League average of $83.4 million.

For the complete list, visit Forbes.com.

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