A look at the 10 richest owners in sports and how their teams are doing

A look at the 10 richest owners in sports and how their teams are doing

Do billions equate to on-court/field success? Not always

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Image: Getty Images

There’s rich, and then there’s wealthy. And then there’s “team owner money.”

Forbes just released its latest rankings of the richest sports owners who made the 2022 400 List, and more than 10 percent of them own teams. It’s an annual list of the select few who control the sports world, as their net worths are numbers so large that they don’t make sense in real life.

For instance, what does $1 billion even look like? Is that the amount that Uncle Scrooge had in his vault on DuckTales?

Probably.

But as you’ll see from the list below, just because an owner is loaded, it doesn’t mean that their teams are super successful. Most of the time, revenue doesn’t translate to wins.

However, there is a caveat. For instance, Major League Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap. So, if a team owner is loaded and actually cares about winning, they can clean up in free agency and buy the best players and managers on the market. In the NFL, the cap for this season has been set at $208.2 million. And in the NBA, the salary cap for this year is $123.655 million, and is expected to jump to $134 million for 2023-24. In that league, you can win by being frugal and by living lavishly.

Here are the 10 wealthiest owners in sports. And as you’ll see, just because they’re enjoying games from their luxury boxes, it doesn’t always mean they’re leaving them after seeing a victory.

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No. 10 Shad Khan — Jacksonville Jaguars ($11.2 billion), Fulham F.C.

No. 10 Shad Khan — Jacksonville Jaguars ($11.2 billion), Fulham F.C.

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan
Image: Getty Images

Newsflash: The Jaguars seem to be good at football and are 2-1 atop the AFC South, largely in part to the hiring of Doug Pederson, and the growth of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. This almost seems like a miracle after last season’s 3-14 season that included the disastrous hiring and firing of disgraced coach Urban Meyer. One bad apple can poison an orchard. [Editor’s note: While not a “sport,” per se, Khan is also co-owner of All Elite Wrestling with his son, Tony.]

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No. 9 Stephen Ross — Miami Dolphins ($11.6 billion)

No. 9 Stephen Ross — Miami Dolphins ($11.6 billion)

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross
Image: Getty Images

Ross is still under suspension for tampering after it was discovered that he was secretly trying to get Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady and former New Orleans Saints head coach and current broadcaster Sean Payton to sign with his franchise. He’s also been removed from four committees he serves on. However, the Dolphins are playing well despite their owner’s shenanigans as they’re 3-1 on the season. Though, there’s something we need to talk about...

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No. 8 Stanley Kroenke — Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal F.C., Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids ($12.9 billion)

No. 8 Stanley Kroenke — Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal F.C., Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids ($12.9 billion)

Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke
Image: Getty Images

Since this dude owns a lot of teams, we’ll just skip to how the major ones in America are doing. The Rams won the Super Bowl last season and are currently 2-1. The Nuggets have the two-time MVP, but can’t get over the hump in the west. And the Avalanche just won the Stanley Cup. [Editor’s note: While not part of the “Big 4” American sports, the Rapids have won an MLS cup and the Colorado Mammoth have snagged two National Lacrosse League championships under Silent Stan’s ownership.]

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No. 7 Jerry Jones — Dallas Cowboys ($16 billion)

No. 7 Jerry Jones — Dallas Cowboys ($16 billion)

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Image: Getty Images

For as well-known as Jones and his team are, it’s a little shocking to see them this low on the list. But at the same time, the Dallas Cowboys are arguably — definitely? — the most popular and overhyped team in all of sports. After losing to the 49ers in the playoffs last season, Dallas is surprisingly 2-1 this year without the services of Dak Prescott who is still out with an injury. The franchise is still seeking its first Super Bowl victory since the 90s and first playoff win since 2019.

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No. 6 Dan Gilbert — Cleveland Cavaliers ($17.3 billion)

No. 6 Dan Gilbert — Cleveland Cavaliers ($17.3 billion)

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert
Image: Getty Images

Gilbert is known for being the guy who owns Quicken Loans as much as people remember him for writing that stupid letter when LeBron left the Cavs for the Miami Heat during “The Decision.” Under Gilbert’s ownership, the Cavs have only been relevant when James was on the roster. (The franchise’s 2016 title was the city’s first major sports crown since 1964). However, things changed last season when they made it to the play-in game. An off-season trade that landed Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland has fans excited about what could be in 2022-2023.

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No. 5 Steve Cohen — New York Mets ($17.5 billion)

No. 5 Steve Cohen — New York Mets ($17.5 billion)

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen
Image: Getty Images

After failing to make the playoffs last season, the perpetual underdog Mets are in a dog fight at the top of the NL East with the Atlanta Braves. Both teams clinched a playoff spot and as of Sept. 29, N.Y. was 98-58 on the year. By next week we’ll know if the Amazins will have hung on and made the postseason, or collapsed in the ninth inning.

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No. 4 Robert Pera — Memphis Grizzlies ($17.6 billion)

No. 4 Robert Pera — Memphis Grizzlies ($17.6 billion)

Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera
Screenshot: YouTube/Carrie Sanders

At age 44, Pera is one of the youngest members of this exclusive club. It’s also fitting that he has one of the youngest and most exciting teams in the NBA, led by Ja Morant. Last season, Memphis was the No. 2 seed in the West before falling to eventual champions Golden State in six games in the conference semifinals.

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No. 3 David Tepper — Carolina Panthers, Charlotte FC ($18.5 billion)

No. 3 David Tepper — Carolina Panthers, Charlotte FC ($18.5 billion)

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper
Image: Getty Images

Tepper made his splash in the NFL in 2018 when he bought the Panthers for more than $2.2 billion — in cash. Since then, seven wins is the most the team has won in a season since he’s been in charge They’re currently 1-2 on the season after trading for QB Baker Mayfield.

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No. 2 Rob Walton — Denver Broncos ($56.7 billion)

No. 2 Rob Walton — Denver Broncos ($56.7 billion)

Denver Broncos owner and Walmart heir Robert Walton
Image: Getty Images

In his first season as the owner of the Broncos, the heir to the Walmart throne is in control of a team that agreed to pay Russell Wilson $245 million in the offseason along with hiring the worst coach in the NFL — Nathaniel Hackett. Denver is currently 2-1, and it’s a miracle that they aren’t 0-3 with the HC’s clock management issues and some sloppy play.

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No. 1 Steve Ballmer — Los Angeles Clippers ($83 billion)

No. 1 Steve Ballmer — Los Angeles Clippers ($83 billion)

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer
Image: Getty Images

No matter how much better the Clippers have been recently, they’re still the Clippers. Coming into this season, once again, the other team in L.A. will be a title contender — if they can stay healthy. They finished last regular season with a 42-40 record. Their season ended when they fell in the play-in games to the Timberwolves and Pelicans. Will this year be different?

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