The Miami Heat are worth a cool $625 million, according to the latest NBA team valuations by Forbes.com. That's up 307 percent since last year, or almost $200 million since 2012 when the team was valued at $427 million. Apparently that championship made a big difference.
The Heat are now the sixth most valuable franchise in the NBA. Only two, the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, second and first respectively, are worth more than $1 billion. The Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, and Dallas Mavericks were the only other teams valued higher than the Heat.
Forbes estimates that the Heat made $15 million last year in operational profits, which is actually down from the $26 million they were estimated to have made in 2011.
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A big reason for the Heat's surge in value: local TV ratings of games broadcast locally on Sun Sports rose 34 percent last year. That's the second best in the league. People may like to criticize Heat fans, but with ratings like that you can't argue that there aren't a hell of a lot of locals who like to follow every move the team makes.
Though the Heat may be the most popular and successful team in town at the moment, they're not the most valuable. According to the latest valuation of NFL teams, the Miami Dolphins are worth $1.06 billion. That's the 14th highest in that league.