The average NHL team is worth a whopping $413 million, a rather large 46% increase from just a year ago. While some MLB stadiums NBA arenas are barely selling half of their seats, 15 NHL markets have averaged 100 percent capacity at home games. The NBA has only 8 markets (a little over 25%) that average 100 percent capacity at home games. As its popularity continues to grow, some may wonder who the owners of these franchises are.
They are businessmen, philanthropists and entrepreneurs. Although the lowest valued franchise, the Columbus Blue Jackets is worth less than half of the average NFL team at $175 million, the market for Hockey continues to grow, more so in Canada than in the States where all of the 12 NHL teams failing to turn a profit are located.
Despite having the smallest arena in the NHL (15,000 seat capacity), the newly christened Winnipeg Jets are consistently selling out while charging 81$ a pop for tickets, the third-highest ticket rate in the league. That being said, most of the richest NHL owners do not own Canadian teams.
Here are the Top 1o Richest Owners in the NHL .
11 T10. Joshua Harris – New Jersey Devils – Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
In August 2013 Joshua Harris purchased a majority stake in the New Jersey Devils. Harris ranked 222nd on Forbes’ 400 Richest People in America for 2013, and is the co-founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s largest alternative investments firms. Prior to his purchase of the Devils in 2013 Harris was also part of an investment group that in 2011 purchased the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers from Comcast Spectator with a bid of $280 million.
10 T10. Ed Snider – Philadelphia Flyers – Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
Apart from owning the Philadelphia Flyers, Ed Snider is also the chairman of Comcast Spectator, a company that Snider formed in 1974. Comcast Spectator owns the Wells Fargo Center, home to both the Flyers and the 76ers, the Comcast SportsNet regional sports network and the Global Spectrum Company. He sold 66% of his stake in Spectator to Comcast in 1996, creating Comcast Spectator. Retaining 34% of his interests in the company, Snider remained as chairman. Afterwards the newly formed Comcast SportsNet purchased the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA that same year, but sold the team 15 years later.
9 Daryl Katz – Edmonton Oilers – Net Worth $2.6 Billion
Ranked by Forbes as the 11th richest Canadian and the 554th richest person in the world, Edmonton native Daryl Katz purchased the Edmonton Oilers on July 2nd 2008 for a cool $200 million after several other attempts to purchase the team fell through. Katz is the chairman and chief executive officer of The Katz Group of companies, a Canadian drug store operation with over 1,800 stores. He also owns and operates Canada’s first mail-order pharmacy, Rexall Direct which is one of Canada’s largest pharmacy operations.
8 Ron Burkle – Pittsburgh Penguins – Net Worth: $2.7 Billion
After dropping out of college, Ron Burkle founded Yucaipa Companies, a private equity firm that specialises in retail, manufacturing and distribution investments. Ranked 201st on Forbes’ list of the Top 400 Richest Americans, Burkle has served as a controlling shareholder and chairman of the board for several companies, such as Alliance Entertainment, Ralphs and Food4Less to name a few, and is currently a member of the board of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, KB Home and Yahoo! Burkle has also invested in a number of technology start-up companies through a venture capital fund known as A-Grade Investments whose projects include ticket search engine SeatGeek and the online audio distribution platform SoundCloud. He is co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins though his share is unknown; he owns the franchise along with Hockey legend Mario Lemieux.
7 Jeremy Jacobs – Boston Bruins – Net Worth: $2.8 Billion
Jeremy Jacobs has owned the NFL’s Boston Bruins since 1975. In that time, the Bruins have won one Stanley Cup championship and Jacobs has earned a reputation as one of the most hated owners by players, especially after the 2012-13 lockout when he was described as a “bully” and “villainous”. Jacobs is the CEO of Delaware North Companies, a global hospitality and food service located in Buffalo, New York. Delaware North owns and Manages TD Garden, one of the largest concert and sports venues in North America. He was ranked 193rd on Forbes’ list of the 400 Richest Americans for 2013.
6 Terrence Pegula – Buffalo Sabres – Net Worth: $3.1 Billion
Terrence Pegula is the founder of East Resources, a natural gas drilling company whose Pennsylvania, New York and Rocky Mountain assets he sold to Royal Dutch Shell for around $4.7 billion. On February 18th 2011 he bought the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres from owners Tom Golisano, Larry Quinn and Dan DiPofi for $189 million, quoted as saying “Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres' reason for existence, will be to win a Stanley Cup.” In 2011 he also purchased the Sabres’ AHL affiliates the Rochester Americans. Pegula has donated $102 million to Penn State University for the construction of the Pegula Ice Arena and $12 million to Houghton College for the construction of the Kerr-Pegula Sports Complex, and is also a share holder in independent country music label Black River Entertainment.
5 Michael Ilitch – Detroit Red Wings – Net Worth: $3.2 Billion
Founder and owner of international fast food franchise Little Caesars Pizza, Michael Ilitch owns both the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and the Detroit Tigers of the MLB. After a short-lived baseball career Ilitch opened a pizza business in 1959 with his wife Marian, the first of what would become thousands of Little Caesars Pizzas restoraunts. In 1982 he bought the Detroit Red Wings from Bruce Norris for $8 million and soon after turned the team into Stanley Cup contenders. In 1992 he purchased the Detroit Tigers from Dominos Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. He ranks 157th on Forbes list of the Top 400 Richest Americans of 2013.
4 Stan Kroenke – Colorado Avalanche – Net Worth: $5.3 Billion
Stan Kroenke is the owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, a group that owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche as well as the NFL’s St. Louis Rams. Kroenke purchased the Colorado Avalanche off of Charlie Lyons’ Ascent Entertainment Group in 2000. Ten years later he turned over control of the Avalanche and the Nuggets to his son Josh in order to become full owner of the Rams, promising to give up his majority stake in the Avalanche by December of 2014. Apart from owning multiple sports franchises, Kroenke Sports Enterprises also owns the Pepsi Center in Denver and co-owns Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Forbes named him the 84th richest person in America on their Top 400 of 2013.
3 Hasso Plattner – San Jose Sharks – Net Worth: $8.9 Billion
German Entrepreneur Hasso Plattner is a co-founder of multinational software company SAP AG and owner of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. After buying out two partners of the San Jose Sports & Entertainment Enterprises, Plattner began serving as the Sharks’ representative on the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors in 2013. Plattner has been known to give back to the academic community. In 1998 Plattner founded the Hasso Plattner Institute, a German information technology university college as part of the University of Potsdam located near Berlin. Then in 2005 Plattner donated $35 million to Stanford University to fund the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. In 2013 Forbes listed Plattner as the 9th richest man in Germany.
2 Philip Anschutz – Los Angeles Kings – Net Worth: $10.3 Billion
Entrepreneur Philip Anschutz is one of the largest contributors to the sport of soccer in the USA, co-founding the MLS as well as multiple teams like the LA Galaxy, Chicago Fire and the Houston Dynamo. Apart from his interests in soccer Anschutz also assumed ownership of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings in 1995, and has stakes in the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. Anschutz bought out his fathers drilling company, Circle A Drilling in 1961 and went on to invest in stocks, real estate and railroads and owns stakes in venues such as the Staples Center and the O2 Arena. He was ranked 38th on Forbes’ list of the top 400 richest Americans for 2013.
1 David Thomson – Winnipeg Jets – Net Worth: $22.5 Billion
David Thomson is the chairman of the world famous Thomson Corporation. Thomson became chaiman after his father, Kenneth Thomson passed in 2006. In 2011 True North Sports Entertainment, a partner of Thomson’s Osmington Incorporated purchased the Atlanta Thrashers for a solid $170 Million. Intending to move the Thrashers to Winnipeg in time for the 2011-2012 season, an additional $60 Million was paid in relocation fees. Although Winnipeg is the smallest market in the NHL with a population of just 762,600, the Jets are turning a profit in a league where 12 out of 30 teams either operated at a loss or came close to that last season. Since moving from Atlanta to Winnipeg, the Jets’ revenues have shot up 48% to $105 Million – keep in mind that Winnipeg is about one-eighth the size of Atlanta. The move’s been good for Thomson and his partners as the future looks bright in Winnipeg.