Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Forbes says the Nets are worth $2.3B. OK. But they're not making a profit, really.

Thanks to worldwide marketing/popularity and new revenue sources like corporate logos on uniforms, Forbes reported yesterday that NBA Team Values 2018: Every Club Now Worth At Least $1 Billion.

And yes, the Brooklyn Nets really are worth $2.3 billion, because they found a buyer:
Mikhail Prokhorov is on the verge of selling 49% of the Nets to Taiwanese billionaire Joseph Tsai. The Alibaba co-founder has an option to assume majority control by the end of 2021. The deal values the Nets at $2.3 billion and does not include operating rights to the Barclays Center where the Nets play their home games.
That's an enormous leap in value, and a testament to Jay-Z's line that pro teams are like "paintings for billionaires."

After all, when Forest City Enterprises/Forest City Ratner sold its 20% of the team to Prokhorov in early 2016, as well as its majority share of the arena, "the transaction values the team at approximately $875 million and the arena at $825 million, inclusive of debt," the developer said 2/1/16.

Last year, I took issue with Forbes' valuation of the team at $1.8 million, as their rather flexible methodology linked team and arena. This year they don't link the two. So the team's value didn't really increase 28%. It increased more than 100%, by my estimation.

What about Nets' income?

Did the Nets really make $52 million? Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen writes:
Our estimated income statements include revenue team owners get from non-NBA events at their arena. The Nets basketball team posted a sizable financial loss but turned a profit if you include revenue from the Barclays Center and non-NBA events at the Brooklyn arena, which both funnel into the pockets of Prokhorov.
Wait a sec. They lost a bunch of money, but they turned a profit? Forbes reported $273 million in revenue for the Nets+arena. 

(By the way, Forbes said the Tsai deal valued the team "at roughly eight times" revenue. Not so, if you recognize their revenue is way below $273 million. In other words, Tsai is paying an insane price, based on that metric. But he can afford it.)

I'm not sure how Forbes calculates net income at $52 million, because the arena reported net operating income at about $28 million, which presumably would be reduced by Nets' losses.

Then again, Forbes' methodology is not the same as the way the arena reported its financials, and there may be some double-counting involved. 

I can say that, as Moody's pointed out last October, the arena had a very small cushion to cover debt service and its credit rating is in jeopardy of being downgraded to junk. And that was without considering the Nets' "sizable financial loss."
From Forbes