Forbes Mexico (.com.mx - somehow different from Forbes), has taken a look at clubs in North, South, and Central America and has valuated the top 30 teams (link is in Spanish). Some of the usual MLS suspects are in the top 30: the Seattle Sounders (#21), LA Galaxy (#9), and Sporting Kansas City (#8). The Columbus Crew (#29) and Montreal Impact (#25) also make the list. The surprise though, in terms of MLS, is where the New York Red Bulls fall. A little over a year ago, Forbes (.com) valued the Red Bulls at #6 with a value of $114 Million. In front of them were Seattle ($175 mil) at #1, followed by LA ($170 mil), Portland Timbers ($141 mil), Houston Dynamo ($125 mil), and Toronto FC ($121 mil).
The Red Bulls were listed by Forbes MX as the #5 team in North, South, and Central America with a valuation of $250.5 million. In the Forbes Mexico valuations were based on a few criteria: cost of the stadium (if the team owns it), the price of the roster, and the value of the brand. The Forbes (.com) piece from 2013 doesn't mention any method, so it's really hard to compare the two. Here's what Forbes Mexico has to say about the Red Bulls, and be warned, this is a rough interpretation by Google and myself.
In 2006, there was a decisive turning moment for the franchise; the arrival of Red Bull and the re-branding. The team was born in 1996 in MLS as the MetroStars; ten years after being brought by the energy drink company who invested and opened in 2010 Red Bull Arena at a cost of $216 million; to this is added the arrival of players like the French star Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez.
I don't know if Marquez actually factored into the valuation at all, but hopefully he didn't. Assuming for a moment that both Forbes and Forbes Mexico are somewhat close on methods, this is a big increase for the Red Bulls. Forbes Mexico adds $136.5 million to the total worth of the Red Bulls. On top of that, the $250.5 million number isn't too far off from the reported $300 million price tag Grant Wahl reported on (and Garber/Red Bull has denied) in October.
Do you think that Red Bull has a case for being named the most valuable club in the USA?