Forbes rates Knicks as highest valued NBA team at $1.1-B

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Greenburgh, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The Knicks are the NBA’s most valuable team, according to Forbes Magazine, which valued the team at $1.1 billion.

The magazine ascribed the 41 percent increase in value over the past season to the ongoing renovation of Madison Square Garden, an increase in television ratings and merchandising sales, and of having won their first playoff game in 11 seasons in 2012.

The $980 million renovation of Madison Square Garden has helped produce $243 million in revenue for the Knicks, the highest profit in the NBA. It placed a majority of seats closer to the court and revamped luxury boxes, allowing the Knicks to raise season-ticket prices by an average of 49 percent after the 2010-11 season. It also brought new advertising opportunities.

Furthermore, the ratings for Knicks games were up 74 percent compared to the same period last season.

Knicks merchandise sales are also strong, having the top-selling jersey in the league from April 2012 through Nov. 26, 2012, with Lin partially responsible for it.

The team does not appear affected by non-renewal of two marketing deals with Taiwan-based companies after Lin left, but it pulled down the stock price of the Madison Square Garden from $38.91 on July 3 to $34.73 on July 23. At the close of trading on Tuesday, the stock was valued at $49.50.

The Knicks ranked second in the NBA valuation last year, behind the Lakers. They were worth $780 million, according to Forbes.

The Lakers are second on this year’s Forbes list, valued at $1 billion.

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