The richest team owners in sports, It’s a given that most sports team owners are quite wealthy, but what separates the people on this list from the rest is that they all made vast fortunes in various business ventures before buying their own franchise (or franchises).
Here’s how they got there, and how involved they are in the affairs of their respective teams.
The Richest Team Owners In Sports
Perhaps the most well-known NFL owner (and secretly the shadow commissioner of the league?) is also one of the richest sports owners on the planet. Forbes notes that Jones bought the Cowboys for $150 million back in 1989, and the team is now valued at $5.5 billion.
Jones made his first million in oil investments in the 1970s and is currently the controlling shareholder in Comstock Resources, a publicly traded Texas oil and gas company. He is also one of the more involved owners in the NFL in terms of personnel and roster decisions, most notably hitting big on the Herschel Walker trade that shaped the Super Bowl champion Cowboys teams in the 1990s.
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Net Worth: $8.4 billion
According to TSN, Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai got into the sports ownership game when he bought the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center in 2019, dropping a U.S.-record of about $3.5 billion on the combo. The Taiwanese-Canadian businessman made his fortune as the second-largest shareholder of the Chinese online retailer. Tsai is a big basketball fan and naturally has big connections in China, so his ownership should boost the NBA’s efforts to grow the game overseas.
Team: Brooklyn Nets
Net Worth: $9.5 Billion
In addition to owning a lot of real estates and land, Stan Kroenke has amassed one of the most impressive sports ownership portfolios on earth: Forbes reports that his empire includes one NFL team, one NBA team, one NHL team, one Premier League club and one MLS club. While the Rams fell just short of winning a Super Bowl last season, Kroenke is still winning big since becoming the team’s sole owner in 2010, as the franchise is ranked No. 4 in value at an estimated $3.2 billion.
Team: Los Angeles Rams/Arsenal/Denver Nuggets/Colorado Avalanche,
Net Worth: $9.7 Billion
According to Forbes, sports are just one of the areas of business where Philip Anschutz has succeeded, amassing fortunes in oil, railroads, telecom, real estate and entertainment as well. Anschutz owns the Staples Center, along with more than 100 other arenas and venues around the world. Oh yeah, he also owns stakes in the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings and was instrumental in founding Major League Soccer and the LA Galaxy. Not bad!.
Team: Los Angeles Lakers/Los Angeles Kings/LA Galaxy
Net Worth: $11.4 Billion
Forbes reports that the Russian businessman with stakes in steel giants and huge yachts also owns English soccer giant Chelsea, having purchased the team in 2003 for $233 million. Since then, Chelsea has won 16 major trophies, more than any other Premier League club at that time. So it’s fair to say that Abramovich’s steady hand and deep pockets have gone a long way towards making “Chelski” a soccer superpower.
Net Worth:$11.8 billion
David Tepper might be the new kid on the block in the NFL, but he pretty much owns the block. Forbes notes that Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers for $2.3 billion in 2018, and his $12 billion in net worth makes him the richest owner in the NFL.
Tepper’s Appaloosa Management hedge fund firm is one of the biggest in the world, but he’s been scaling back on that lately, focusing more on a hands-on role with the Panthers, as well as economic development for the city of Charlotte. Tepper should have a major say in whether or not Cam Newton remains the face of the franchise.
Team: Carolina Panthers
Net Worth: $12 Billion
According to Forbes, Hasso Plattner co-launched German software company SAP in 1972 and has been chairman of its supervisory board since 2003. After owning a significant stake in the NHL’s San Jose Sharks for years, Plattner bought out two members of the ownership group’s executive committee in 2013,
Now the face of the franchise at the top. While he’s not much for public appearances, team execs say Plattner is closely involved with hockey operations and business decisions and “wants to win.” Considering the Sharks have come oh so close to a Stanley Cup multiple times, one would imagine Plattner wants it more than ever.
Team: San Jose Sharks
Net Worth: $15.3 Billion
If you’ve ever had a Red Bull, then you have Dietrich Mateschitz to thank for it. Forbes notes that the Austrian businessman co-founded the energy drink in 1987, and after some aggressive marketing, it eventually became a worldwide phenomenon.
Mateschitz then branched out into sports in a big way: Red Bull are title owners on a whopping 15 teams across 11 sports, including soccer (RB Leipzig, FC Red Bull Salzburg, New York Red Bulls), auto racing, MotoGP and ice hockey. Red Bull really did give Mateschitz wings, at least in terms of his businesses taking flight.
Team: NY Red Bulls/RB Leipzig/Red Bull Racing
Net Worth: $18.1 Billion
The final two men on our list are far and away from the richest, both cracking the $50-billion mark, blowing away the competition. According to Forbes, Mukesh Ambani built his massive wealth on running oil and gas giant Reliance Industries
And is the 13th-richest person in the world. The business tycoon purchased the Indian Premier League cricket club Mumbai Indians in 2008 for just over $100 million. He’s No. 1 when it comes to richest Indians, and the Ambani family is the richest in all of Asia, but he’s No. 2 on our list.
Team: Mumbai Indians
Net Worth: $50 Billion
The winner of this year’s NBA off-season is fittingly also atop our list. Forbes notes that Steve Ballmer built his empire from being the CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014. The year he retired, he dished out $2 billion to buy the Clippers. All his high-energy antics didn’t amount to much as team owner until Ballmer was able to land both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in free agency in 2019.
The only thing left for Ballmer to accomplish in his illustrious business career would be winning the NBA championship, and the Clippers have never looked like a better bet to do just that this season.
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Net Worth: $51.5 Billion