With the huge sports culture in the United States, it's pretty much always a smart business move to purchase a sports team. Plenty of people who were already rolling in money buy sports teams alongside their other luxuries. This results in the rich only getting richer.
With the top ten richest sports team owners all at multi-billionaire status, it's only natural to be curious about how the owners had all this money in the first place to buy a whole sports team. Check out this list of the ten richest sports teams owners in the United States and how much their astounding net worth is.
10 Charles Dolan - $5.5 Billion
Charles Dolan owns the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, and the New York Liberty. Dolan first saw success after founding Cablevision Systems, which remains one of the largest cable companies in the country to this day. He also founded HBO, which he eventually sold.
In addition, he owns stock in AMC Networks and Madison Square Garden Co. Dolan decided to buy the Knicks in 1997 for $300 million, and has since earned $3.3 billion from that team alone. He also put stake in the Rangers in 1997 for $195 million, and saw over $1.3 billion in returns. Needless to say, his investments paid off!
9 Marian Ilitch - $6.5 Billion
Marian Ilitich, who Forbes named as the second richest self-made woman in America, owns the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings. She purchased the Red Wings with her late husband, Michael, in 1982. They only paid $9 million for it, which isn't much in comparison to the 7,677% return on investment! They then purchased the Tigers in 1992 for $80 million, and have since seen $1.1 billion in profit.
Michael and Marian first saw success when they used their life savings of $10,000 to open up a pizza restaurant called Little Caesars in 1959. The restaurant took off, and became one of the most popular pizza chains in America. Little Caesars is said to bring in over $3 billion per year.
8 Robert Pera - $6.9 Billion
Robert Pera, at only 41 years old, is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. Most of his wealth came after he founded Ubiquiti Networks, Inc., a global communications technology company, in 2005. He opened the company with $30,000 he had saved up, plus a ton of credit card debt. Fortunately for Pera, his business took off.
In 2012, he was able to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies for around $350 million. This was also a risky investment that took off tremendously -- when Pera became the owner, the Grizzlies won more playoff games throughout the next two years than during the 17 seasons prior.
7 Daniel Gilbert - $7.4 Billion
Daniel Gilbert was able to buy 72% of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005 for $375 million. This has resulted in the mogul earning over $500 million from his investment. Gilbert first earned his riches after co-founding Quicken Loans, which remains the largest home mortgage lender in the United States.
He sold the company for $532 million in 1999, and then bought it back for only $64 million in 2002. He still serves as chairman for the company. Even though he only technically owns only 72% of the Cavaliers, the returns on the investment are still immense.
6 Stanley Kroenke - $7.8 Billion
Stanley Kroenke owns the Los Angeles Rams, the Colorado Rapids, and the Colorado Mammoth. He also owns the Arsenal FC in England. He has spent $45o million on the Rams in 2010, and was able to garner $2.5 billion in profit.
Kroenke first made a name for himself in 1983 for his real estate business, and is currently one of the United States' top five largest land owners, with a whopping two million acres of ranches across the country. Kroenke is also married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke, who purchased both the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche.
5 Stephen Ross - $10.3 Billion
Stephen Ross purchased the Miami Dolphins for a whopping $1.1 billion in 2008, and we can assume he definitely does not regret this decision as he's since earned $1.5 billion in revenue from the team. Ross got his start in 1972 after a $10,000 loan from his mother helped him create The Related Companies.
The global real estate development firm took off and is worth over $50 billion today. While Ross still serves as chairman for The Related Companies, he now also owns the company Equinox -- a.k.a the parent company of SoulCycle.
4 Philip Anschutz - $11.2 Billion
Philip Anschutz owns the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Los Angeles Kings. He's also part-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks, and Swedish football club Hammarby IF. Anschutz is used to making investments as that's how he's accumulated most of his fortune.
He has made various investments in oil, railroads, telecom, real estate, sports and entertainment. He also co-founded Major League Soccer. Anschutz bought the Kings in 1995 for $113 million, resulting in him earning about $100 million. He had more luck after buying Galaxy for $28 million in 1998, as he's made around $300 million in returns.
3 Mickey Arison - $11.4 Billion
Mickey Arison, who owns the Miami Heat, comes from a family of wealth. His father co- founded the cruise company Carnival Corp. Arison officially became the CEO of his father's company in 1979 and stepped down from his post in 2013. He still serves as chairman of the company, however, and it remains the largest cruise ship operator in the world.
Arison's sister, Shari, still lives in their home country of Israel and is currently the richest woman in the country. Arison bought the Heat from his father in 1995, who had initially spent $33 million on the team in the '80's. Now, the team is worth $1.7 billion -- meaning major profit for Arison!
2 David Tepper - $11.6 Billion
David Tepper is one of the newest owners on the list, only purchasing the Carolina Panthers in 2018 for $2.2 billion -- the highest ever paid for an NFL team. Tepper worked at Goldman Sachs in the '80's before branching off and taking a risk by opening his own hedge fund, Appaloosa Management, in 1993.
This risk paid off, and by 2013 he was ranked by Forbes as one of the top 25 richest hedge fund managers in the world. Now, Tepper is dipping his toe into the sports pool. Since his purchase was so recent, only time will tell if his investment paid off!
1 Steve Ballmer - $40.8 Billion
Steve Ballmer's journey to riches was a little unconventional. He dropped out of Stanford in the '80's, but eventually became the 30th employee for a little company called Microsoft. Ballmer proceeded to make his way up in the ranks until becoming the CEO of the company in 2000.
He eventually left the position in 2014, but still remains the largest individual shareholder. His massive and impressive net worth can mostly be attributed to owning a mere 4% of Microsoft. In 2014, Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion -- the most ever paid for an NBA franchise at the time.