Blue Jackets Valued At $450 Million By Forbes; Third-Lowest In NHL Despite 53% Increase In Last Year

By Jacob Nitzberg on December 9, 2021 at 10:15 am
Nationwide Arena in Columbus was photographed on Friday, September 23, 2021. Ceb Cbj Camp Bjp 549
Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The value of the Columbus Blue Jackets has shot up, but it's still near the bottom of the barrel.

According to a study from Forbes published earlier this week, the Blue Jackets are valued at $475 million. That's a 53% increase in the last year and a 94% increase in the last five years. The 53% increase in value represents the third-highest increase in value over the past year behind the Edmonton Oilers (100% increase) and the New York Islanders (83% increase). The Florida Panthers also saw a 53% increase over the past year.

Despite the growth, the Blue Jackets find themselves with the third-lowest valuation in the NHL, ahead of only the Panthers ($450 million) and the Arizona Coyotes ($400 million). Comparatively, the three most-valuable franchises are the New York Rangers ($2 billion), the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.8 billion), and the Montreal Canadiens ($1.6 billion). The Rangers are hockey's first team ever valued at $2 billion or more.

Here's how Forbes compiled the data:

Our valuations are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) and include the economics of each team’s current arena deal but not the value of the real estate itself. We adjust values for teams that have moved into new arenas since the last completed season, like the Islanders, or are definitely moving into new ones in the near future, based on how the arena is being financed, when it will open and the degree to which we can estimate revenues from the new arena.

Revenue and operating income are adjusted for revenue sharing but exclude the $22 million that each team (save the Vegas Golden Knights) received from the Seattle Kraken’s $650 million expansion fee. All figures are in U.S. dollars based on the average U.S.-Canada exchange rate during the 2020-21 season.

The information used to compile our valuations primarily came from the teams, sports bankers, media consultants and public documents, like arena lease agreements and bond documents.