Sports are something that brings us together, from the NBA to NFL. Yet, the game of owning an actual team is exclusive to the wealthiest. Here's a look at the most successful sports team owners, according to Forbes…
30. Denise York & Family
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Net Worth: $5.1 Billion
One could say that this is a family affair. Denise York has 90% ownership of one of the biggest teams in the NFL franchise. Her father, Edward DeBartolo Sr., bought the team for $13 million in 1977.
Thirteen million may seem like a pretty penny until you realize that the team is currently valued at $5.2 billion, according to Forbes. York joined the family real estate business, The DeBartolo Corporation, starting in the company's real estate department. At one point, Denise and the family also owned the Pittsburgh Penguins!
29. Mark Walter
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Net Worth: $5.2 Billion
Mark Walter has many claims to fame to his name. He has personally invested in the online car vendor Carvana and the plant-based meat company Beyond Meat. He is the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, an investment firm with over $300 billion in assets. But perhaps his biggest claim to fame is being an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He bought the team back in 2012 with his investment group. Since then, the Dodgers have gone on to appear in the World Series three separate times and win the Championship title in 2020. It seems like Walter is making a good return on his investment.
28. Dan Friedkin
Team: A.S. Roma
Net Worth: $5.2 Billion
Dan Friedkin is speeding through as one of the wealthiest sports owners. The billionaire is the owner and CEO of Gulf States Toyota, which sold $9.4 billion worth of Toyotas in 2019. They also have the exclusive rights to distribute Toyotas in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
In 2019, Friedkin began negotiations to purchase the famous Italian football club, A.S. Roma. Negotiations were complete in 2020, and Friedkin was able to add sports owner to his lengthy resume of achievements. He also has directed a film, has a production company, is chairman of a luxury resorts company, and owns a golf club.
27. Todd Boehly
Team: Chelsea F.C.
Net Worth: $5.3 Billion
Todd Boehly is a man of many trades. He founded his own company, Eldridge, and he invested in the restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese. He also is the owner of the fantasy sports website DraftKings and is currently serving as the interim CEO of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
His most outstanding achievement may just be becoming an owner of the world-renowned football club Chelsea F.C. He completed the purchase for a record-breaking $3.1 billion in May 2022. The previous owner initially did not want to sell. It seems like nothing can stop this baller.
26. Wesley Edens
Team: Milwaukee Bucks, Aston Villa
Net Worth: $5.5 Billion
Wesley Edens is a hard-working man. The American billionaire rose the ranks at Lehman Brothers and continued his rise in BlackRock's private equity division. He became a billionaire when he and his partners went public with their company, Fortress Investment Group.
Edens is a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team and the Aston Villa football club. He is also a co-owner of a tequila company with basketball legend Michael Jordan. But his love of sports actually began as a teen, when he used to ski competitively. Nowadays, he gets to enjoy the matches from the owners' box.
25. Micky Arison
Team: Miami Heat
Net Worth: $5.5 Billion
From cruise ships to NBA championships, Micky Arison has got it covered. The Israeli-American businessman dropped out of business school to become a salesman for his father's company, the Carnival Corporation. The company started with two ships, and now the cruise line is the largest in the world.
During his time as Miami Heat's owner, the team won the NBA championship three times in 2006, 2012, and 2013. He served as the CEO of Carnival for 34 years before stepping down. Now he most likely enjoys his days on one of his two superyachts. He is literally cruising through life.
24. Josh Harris
Team: Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, Crystal Palace
Net Worth: $5.7 Billion
They say three is a crowd, but that does not seem to be the case for billionaire investor Josh Harris. Harris owns three different sports teams! They include the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, the New Jersey Devils hockey team, and the Crystal Palace football club across the pond.
He made billions as one of the co-founders of Apollo Global Management. Although he is no longer part of the company's day-to-day operations, he still owns a 6% stake. Harris and his wife also started a philanthropy fund, which has helped the lives of many.
23. Antony Ressler
Team: Atlanta Hawks
Net Worth: $5.8 Billion
Antony Ressler, who usually goes by the nickname Tony, was one of the three co-founders of Apollo Global Management. Ressler, Harris, and Ressler's brother-in-law, Leon Black, founded the company in 1990. He also co-founded the private equity firm Ares Management.
It was not until 2015 that he was able to add sports owner to his titles. Ressler and a group he formed purchased the Atlanta Hawks basketball team for $850 million. That is one heck of a price tag! Ressler also sits on the boards of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Cedars-Sinai hospital and has donated millions to both.
22. Tom Gores
Team: Detroit Pistons
Net Worth: $6.1 Billion
Billionaire Tom Gores has quite the come-up story. Having immigrated to the United States when he was only four years old, Gores worked as a janitor and telemarketer to put himself through college. Then, he began building his own business by cold-calling.
Now Gores' Los Angeles-based business, Platinum Equity, oversees more than 40 companies with about $36 billion in assets. The self-made billionaire is the sole owner of the Detroit Pistons basketball team, and he bankrolled a new headquarters and training center for the team.
21. Edward Roski, Jr.
Team: Los Angeles Kings
Net Worth: $6.4 Billion
Edward Roski, Jr. has climbed Mount Everest, gone in a submarine to visit the Titanic, and is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. The Los Angeles-based real estate mogul owns more than 87 million square feet of real estate throughout the United States.
However, things were not always this way. Ed Jr.'s father, Edward Sr., was an immigrant from Poland who started Majestic Reality after serving in World War II. Since then, the company has become the largest privately-owned developer and has tenants like UPS, Walmart, and Amazon. What a score!
20. Ted Lerner & Family
Team: Washington Nationals
Net Worth: $6.4 Billion
Ted Lerner began his company, Lerner Enterprises, with $250 he borrowed from his wife. That was in 1952. Today Lerner Enterprises is one of the largest real estate owners in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Lerner purchased the Washington Nationals in 2006, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Since the Lerner family has owned the team, the Nationals have won the East Division title four times and the 2019 World Series. In 2018, Ted passed control of the team to his son, Mark. Additionally, the Lerner family are active philanthropists and have donated to many organizations, including Children's National Hospital in D.C.
19. Stephen Bisciotti
Team: Baltimore Ravens
Net Worth: $6.4 Billion
He played football in high school, and while his future included football, he would not be playing it. Stephen Bisciotti began Aerotek with his cousin, Jim Davis. After one year, the staffing agency made $1.5 million in sales. Since that basement office, the company has morphed into the Allegis Group.
Today it is one of the largest staffing firms in the United States. According to Forbes, the company makes $12.3 billion in revenue annually. In 2000, Bisciotti became one of the owners of the Baltimore Ravens football team. They went on to win the Super Bowl in 2001. Oh, and did we mention he also owns a yacht named "Winning Drive?"
18. David Bonderman
Team: Seattle Kraken
Net Worth: $6.5 Billion
David Bonderman is sure having a "Kraken" good time as a billionaire. He owns the hockey team, the Seattle Kraken, along with Hollywood icon Jerry Bruckheimer. He has set a record for having one of the most expensive birthday parties by having John Mellencamp, Robin Williams, and The Rolling Stones perform.
Bonderman is a founding partner of the private equity firm TPG. He still serves as chairman of the company, which managed over $120 billion in assets as of August 2022, according to Forbes. Not only does Bonderman own the Seattle Kraken, but he is also the one who brought the team to the city.
17. Henry Samueli
Team: Anaheim Ducks
Net Worth: $6.7 Billion
Growing up, Henry Samueli always had an interest in electronics. And it certainly has paid off. While he was a professor at UCLA, Samueli co-founded Broadcom with his graduate student, Henry Nicholas. Eventually, the tech company was acquired by Avago, a Singapore-based company, for $37 billion in cash and stock.
In 2005, Samueli purchased the Anaheim Ducks for a whopping $70 million. Only two years later, the Southern California hockey team won the Stanley Cup in 2007. They are the first team from California ever to win the Cup. According to Forbes, the hockey team is now worth $360 million.
16. Terrence Pegula
Team: Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres
Net Worth: $6.7 Billion
The oil and gas tycoon is now also a sports tycoon. Terrence Pegula began his career at Getty Oil. Using a $7,500 loan from family and friends, Pegula started his company, East Resources. He ended up selling most of East Resources's assets for over $4.7 billion.
In 2011, he began his foray into the sports world with the purchase of the hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres. Then, in 2014, he was part of a bidding war to buy the Buffalo Bills NFL team. He was up against rockstar Jon Bon Jovi! Pegula won the bidding war with a whole lotta dollar bills - $1.4 million to be exact.
15. Arthur Blank
Team: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United F.C.
Net Worth: $7.6 Billion
This doer definitely got more done. In 1978 after being fired from their jobs, Arthur Blank founded The Home Depot with his friend, Bernie Marcus. Today Blank is the owner of two sports teams. He bought the Atlanta Falcons football team in 2002 and founded the Atlanta United F.C. in the Major Soccer League.
Both teams play in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia - where the Super Bowl was hosted in 2019. Blank has also made a concentrated effort to help those in need: He has a foundation, The Arthur Blank Family Foundation, and has pledged to donate more than half of his wealth. Love to hear it.
14. Tilman Fertitta
Team: Houston Rockets
Net Worth: $7.7 Billion
Tilman Fertitta got his start peeling shrimp in his dad's restaurant. Fast forward to all these years later, Fertitta is the world's richest restauranteur, according to Forbes. His company owns brands like Landry's, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Morton's Steakhouse, and the Rainforest Cafe.
The Houston Rockets basketball team is also part of Fertitta's expansive portfolio. He was actually competing against Beyonce for ownership of the team. Fertitta eventually won the bid and bought the team for $2.2 billion. Additionally, he wrote a book and owns casinos.
13. Rocco Commisso
Team: ACF Fiorentina
Net Worth: $7.7 Billion
The love of soccer was always with this billionaire. Rocco Commisso was born in Italy and moved with his family to America at the age of 12. While attending Columbia University, he played on the soccer team and was named co-captain of their varsity team. Commisso even got the chance to try out for the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team.
So it only makes sense that after creating one of the biggest cable television companies in the United States, Mediacom, Commisso would find himself buying a European football team. Not just any European team, either: the Italian team ACF Fiorentina. He reportedly purchased the team in 2019 for around $150 to $200 million. What a goal!
12. Robert Kraft
Team: New England Patriots, New England Revolution
Net Worth: $10.6 Billion
It is a story of rags to ultimate riches. When he was a boy, Robert Kraft used to sell newspapers outside the old Braves Stadium in Boston. Now he has 6 Super Bowl rings and one of the greatest football franchises to his name. Under his ownership, the New England Patriots have gone to the playoffs 21 times.
Kraft made his money through the packaging and paper industries. He had a brief stint in politics before deciding against a career in the public eye. Additionally, Kraft founded the New England Revolution as part of the expansion of Major League Soccer. It seems like when Kraft shoots, he scores.
11. Philip Anschutz
Team: Los Angeles Kings, LA Galaxy
Net Worth: $11 Billion
It seems that Philip Anschutz always had a knack for business. When he was only six, he used to cart around Kool-Aid on a nearby college campus and sell to students. Anschutz took those instincts with him as he grew up and set out into the business world himself.
Anschutz's portfolio includes various investments and businesses, like real estate, entertainment, railroads, and more. Anschutz owns the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. Additionally, he was one of the founders of Major League Soccer and now owns one of the founding teams, the LA Galaxy.
10. Shahid Khan
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars, Fulham F.C.
Net Worth: $11.2 Billion
Shahid Khan is yet another Cinderella success story. He arrived in the United States at 16 and washed dishes to get himself through university. He used his skills as an engineer to create a car bumper, transforming his business into the success story it is today.
In 2012, Khan became the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars football team for $770 million. Since then, he has added the Fulham Football Club and a professional wrestling entertainment company called All Elite Wrestling to his roster. Khan has certainly come a long way from his dishwashing days.
9. Stephen Ross
Team: Miami Dolphins
Net Worth: $11.6 Billion
Stephen Ross began his real estate company, The Related Companies, in 1972. He started developing properties all over the world. Their most notable developments include the Deutsche Bank Center and Hudson Yards in New York City. Perhaps what he is most known for, though, is being the owner of the Miami Dolphins football team.
Between 2008 and 2009, Ross managed to buy 95% of the Miami Dolphins football team, its stadium, and the land surrounding it. Talk about a business deal. Ross's contributions extend past the football world. He is also the University of Michigan's biggest donor, with their business school being named after him.
8. Stanley Kroenke
Team: Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal F.C., Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids
Net Worth: $12.9 Billion
Stanley Kroenke has one of the most substantial real estate holdings. He owns more than 1.5 million acres of ranch land throughout the United States and Canada and about 60 million square feet of real estate. Not only does he have all that land to keep track of, but his sports company owns nine sports teams.
He founded Kroenke Sports & Entertainment in 1999 and has made himself a sports empire. He has ownership of the Arsenal Football Club, the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, the Colorado Rapids soccer team, and the Denver Nuggets basketball team. He also helped move the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles, where they won the Super Bowl in 2022.
7. Jerry Jones
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Net Worth: $16 Billion
Jerry Jones always had a love for football. While attending the University of Arkansas, he played as an offensive lineman. Jones made his millions initially in oil and gas drilling. Then, he expanded into real estate and retail projects. In 1989, he returned to his true love - the game of football.
Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys football team and has owned the team since. According to Forbes, the team is currently valued at $8 billion. From player to sports owner, Jones has enjoyed a ton of success. He has even appeared in the HBO show Entourage as himself. What a cameo!
6. Daniel Gilbert
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Net Worth: $17.3 Billion
Dan Gilbert started his mortgage lending business with only $5,000 that he made by selling pizzas in college. Now Rocket Mortgage, the company he co-founded, is the largest mortgage lender in the United States. This makes Dan Gilbert the 98th wealthiest man in the world, according to Forbes.
Gilbert is the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the NBA Championship in 2016. The Detroit native has also invested an estimated $5.6 billion in purchasing and refurbishing buildings in downtown Detroit. Gilbert's latest venture is in an online sneaker-selling platform called StockX. This hustler doesn't stop.
5. Steve Cohen
Team: New York Mets
Net Worth: $17.5 Billion
No one needs to buy this billionaire peanuts and cracker jacks when they take him out to the ball game. Steve Cohen is the majority owner of the New York Mets and has been since 2020. He bought the team for $2.2 billion. This is the most expensive sale for a Major League Baseball team to date.
Cohen first began his career on Wall Street. Years later, he launched his own company called SAC Capital. SAC became one of the most successful hedge funds. Currently, he oversees Point72 Asset Management, a venture capital firm. The main character in Billions, played by Damian Lewis, is loosely based on Cohen.
4. Robert Pera
Team: Memphis Grizzlies
Net Worth: $17.6 Billion
Robert Pera is the youngest controlling owner in the NBA. When he was 36, he was listed as one of the youngest billionaires in the world by Forbes. But before he became a billionaire, he studied electrical engineering and Japanese at UC San Diego. He was working at Apple while he developed his own business.
According to Forbes, his company, Ubiquiti Networks, marked a $1.2 billion in revenue in 2020. It wasn't until 2012 that he added sports owner to his title. He bought the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team for $377 million. Since owning the team, they have made more playoff appearances than ever before.
3. David Tepper
Team: Carolina Panthers, Charlotte F.C.
Net Worth: $18.5 Billion
Sometimes the best parts of life come from difficult moments. After Tepper had been passed over for a promotion twice at Goldman Sachs, he decided to venture off on his own. He founded Appaloosa Management in 1993. The hedge fund company has established itself as a dominant force in the industry over the years.
According to Forbes, Tepper is "arguably the greatest hedge fund manager of his generation." Appaloosa currently manages $13 billion in assets. For $2.3 billion, Tepper acquired the Carolina Panthers football team. Immediately afterward, he bid to expand the Major League Soccer to Charlotte and founded the Charlotte Football Club.
2. Rob Walton
Team: Denver Broncos
Net Worth: $56.7 Billion
Rob Walton has gained a major fortune over his lifetime. It makes sense seeing that his father, Sam Walton, was the founder of the retail giant Walmart. Walton took over as chairman of the company in 1992, upon his father's death. However, he was a lawyer for many years before he joined the family biz.
Walton has an impressive car collection, which includes an Aston Martin and a McLaren. He recently added the Denver Broncos football team to his collection. Walton led a group of investors who purchased the team for a record-breaking $4.7 billion in June 2022. It doesn't seem like he has to save money to live better...
1. Steve Ballmer
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Net Worth: $83 Billion
Coming in at #1 of the richest sports owners is Steve Ballmer. He made his money at none other than Microsoft. Ballmer was hired by Bill Gates after dropping out of Stanford's MBA program and became employee number 30. He served as the company's CEO for 14 years.
In 2014, Ballmer retired as CEO at Microsoft. Ballmer has been keeping quite busy in his retirement. The same year he retired, he purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Ballmer became very active in his philanthropy work, donating to the University of Oregon and various other organizations.