Forbes values Tigers at $680 million, 15th overall in MLB

Jorge Lemus

Mike Ilitch's 1992 investment of $82 million has paid off in spades.

Forbes annual Major League Baseball franchise value rankings have been released for 2014. The Detroit Tigers have an estimated franchise value of $680 million,15th overall in baseball. In Forbes' eyes, the Tigers have increased in value 6% over the past 12 months. Over the past decade, the Tigers have increased in value by $441 million. The estimated worth of the team in in 2005, a year before the Tigers returned to baseball relevance, was just $239 million.

The $680 million valuation as broken down by Forbes:

Portion of franchise's value attributable to revenue shared among all teams - $155 million.
Portion of franchise's value attributable to its city and market size - $277 million
Portion of franchise's value attributable to its stadium - $165 million
Portion of franchise's value attributable to its brand - $87 million

Forbes' full breakdown:

Current Value - $680 million (15th overall)
1-Yr Value Change - 6% (20th)
Debt/Value- 26% (10th)
Revenue - $262 million (8th)
Operating Income - $7.5 million (14th, one of 19 teams in the black)

Of note is the Tigers actually had a positive operating income for the only the second time in six years, estimated to be $7.5 million out of $262 million in 2013 revenue.

The team's payroll is tracking to be a little over $162 million, the fifth highest in MLB. The Associated Press has calculated the payroll of every MLB franchise, posted by ESPN's Darren Rovell.

The Tigers remain one of the crown jewels of Ilitch Holdings. Mike Ilitch bought the team in 1992 for just $82 million. Not a bad return on investment. But Ilitch has done even better with his other professional sports franchise. As of November 2013, the estimated worth of the Detroit Red Wings is $470 million, ninth in the NHL. Ilitch paid a mere $8 million for the team in 1982.

MLB franchise value rankings and the full breakdown of all 30 teams can be found by clicking here.

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