Forbes Values Miami Heat at $1.75 Billion, Tenth Most in the NBA

Forbes Values Miami Heat at $1.75 Billion, Tenth Most in the NBA
Photo by felixmizioznikov /
Photo by felixmizioznikov /
Things aren't exactly going well for the Miami Heat on the court these days. The team lost 120-118 last night to the Warriors despite playing its best game possible, including 37 points from Josh Richardson and 22 from Justise Winslow.

In a sad way, that confirmed the Heat is a middling team fighting to stay on the right side of the eight-nine seed playoff lottery. Few improvements are coming soon as the team is largely salary capped-out for the foreseeable future. (That Tyler Johnson-to-Phoenix deal came at the trade deadline.)

Off the court, however, the Heat is doing just fine. Business is booming. Revenues are in the "billions" with a B. Three Comma Club. Tres comas! You get the idea.

According to the new Forbes NBA valuations released last week, the Heat is the tenth-most valuable team in the league, clocking in at a cool $1.7 billion buckaroos. For perspective, that's just below the Los Angeles Clippers and just above the Toronto Raptors, who have been atop the NBA East for most of this season. Blowing the field away in the top spot were the New York Knicks, valued by Forbes at a ridiculous $4 billion-plus.

Tenth place may not sound so hot to some, but when everyone is a winner it's pretty damn nice to lose the ninth. Also, a quick reminder: Micky Arison bought the Miami Heat back in 1988 for $33 million.

Forbes breaks the Heat's value down thusly (in millions): $741 for the sport, $521 for the market, $301 for the stadium, and $186 for the brand. The $1.7 billion was a 3 percent increase from last year's value or $50 million for those counting at home.

The Heat didn't see too much of a fluctuation following LeBron James' departure in 2014. The championships and fan equity were baked in, it seems. The Cleveland Cavaliers, however, don't seem to be surfing the same wave to the shore. According to Forbes, there are only five teams worth less than the Cavs, who fell from the 15th-most valuable team all the way down to 25th this year.

So, there you have it. The Miami Heat is doing just fine, thank you. Whether it loses to a very good Denver Nuggets team tonight or to the less good Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, at the end of the day the Heat is printing cash. It would be nice, though, if the team spent it on a better combination of players and on fans moving forward.  
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi