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Forbes values Phoenix Suns at $1.625 billion for 2020

Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half the NBA game against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Suns 114-103. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns’ value rose by 8% year-over-year and is now at $1.625 billion, according to Forbes’ annual franchise valuations for 2020.

That prediction makes the franchise more than four times more valuable than it was in 2004, when current owner Robert Sarver purchased the team for $401 million, which was then a record.

Even after a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey complicated the NBA’s relationships in one of its biggest markets, China, the league continued to grow faster than any other major sports league.

The teams collectively grew 14% from 2019, to an average of $2.12 billion. The 30 teams combined to create $8.8 billion in revenue last season.

The Suns collected $246 million in revenue, according to Forbes.

Atop the list of most valuable teams for the fifth year in a row are the New York Knicks, who grew 15% year-over-year to weigh in at a $4.6 billion valuation. The Los Angeles Lakers ($4.4 billion), Golden State Warriors ($4.3 billion), Chicago Bulls ( $3.2 billion) and Boston Celtics ($3.1 billion) rounded out the top-five.

At the lower end of the spectrum are the Memphis Grizzlies ($1.3 billion), New Orleans Pelicans ($1.35 billion), Minnesota Timberwolves ($1.375 billion) and Orlando Magic ($1.43 billion).

The Suns are 17th in valuation league-wide.

The trend of growing value will continue, predicts Forbes.

The average NBA viewer is 43 years old to 52 for the NFL and 59 for MLB, per Nielsen.

A recent poll of 2,000 sports business executives by analytics firm MarketCast pegged Americans favorite sports league by age groups. The NFL is dominant among fans 35-plus, outpointing the NBA by more than a 10-to-1 margin. But the NBA is a slight favorite among those 18 to 34, at 41% vs. 38%, and it’s a blowout among those 13 to 17, with the NBA holding a commanding 57% to 13% lead on the NFL; MLB registers a scant 4% among teens.

Additionally, a $24 billion contract with TNT and ESPN that began in the 2016-17 season and the NBA’s market outside United States borders sets itself apart from the NFL and MLB in terms of growth.

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