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Leafs only NHL team on Forbes list of most valuable franchises

With an estimated value of $1.15 billion, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the only hockey team to crack Forbes' global ranking of the 50 most valuable sports franchises on earth.

Toronto franchise valued at $1.15 billion, tops in NHL

Leafs captain celebrates with sniper Phil Kessel after scoring a goal against the rival Bruins. The team was the only NHL team to make Forbes' list of the most valuable sports franchises. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

The Maple Leafs are the only NHL team on Forbes's list of the 50 most valuable franchises in sports, checking in at No. 26.

According to Forbes, the Leafs are worth US$1.15 billion and have been the most valuable NHL team since 2005 despite making just one playoff appearance in that time.

Spanish-based soccer club Real Madrid is No. 1 at $3.44 billion. Major League Baseball's New York Yankees are the top North American team on the list, fourth at $2.5 billion.

According to Forbes, these are the 10 most valuable teams in the world:

  • Real Madrid (soccer) worth $3.44 billion US
  • Barcelona (soccer) worth $3.2 billion
  • Manchester United (soccer) worth $2.81 billion
  • New York Yankees (baseball) worth $2.5 billion
  • Dallas Cowboys (NFL) worth $2.3 billion
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball) worth $2 billion
  • Bayern Munich (soccer) worth $1.75 billion
  • New England Patriots (NFL) worth $1.8 billion
  • Washington (NFL) worth $1.7 billion
  • New York Giants (NFL) worth $1.55 billion

Despite being in the process of selling for $2 billion, the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers did not make the list, which finished with 50th-ranked AC Milan at $856 million. Commissioner Adam Silver forced Donald Sterling to give up ownership of the team following racist remarks that surfaced this past spring.

In his annual state of the league address before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Clippers sale represented a unique situation.

"That may be a function of the uniqueness of the L.A. market," Bettman said in June. "It may be a function of the uniqueness of the people who live in L.A. who wanted to own the franchise. It may be a function of the person who decided to buy it and his own particular circumstances.

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