The Pistons are hot on the court, in the midst of their big win streak and the acquisition of superstar forward Blake Griffin to the roster in the trade last week with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The team’s value is shooting upward off the court as well.
Forbes Magazine released its annual NBA team valuations and the Pistons are listed at $1.1 billion, ranking 25th in the league. It’s an increase in value of 22 percent over last season,and includes $221 million in revenue.
Pistons owner Tom Gores, the founder of Platinum Equity, purchased the Pistons, along with Palace Sports & Entertainment, for $325 million in 2011.
Forbes senior editor Kurt Badenhausen cites the Pistons’ move to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit this season as one of the reasons for their increase.
“New arenas in Sacramento, Detroit and Milwaukee have propelled those franchises, which ranked among the NBA’s lowest revenue teams in recent years,” Badenhausen wrote. “The value of the Kings is up 28% to $1.375 billion after the opening of Golden 1 Center last season. The Pistons joined the NHL’s Red Wings this season in the new $863 million Little Caesars Arena, which pushed the value of the team to $1.1 billion, up 22%.”
The story also attributes an overall net loss to the Pistons, “who faced a significant one-time impairment charge with their move.”
The television deals with ESPN and TNT have helped revenues skyrocket, with $24 billion in those contracts, worth about triple the previous TV deal. New corporate logos on jerseys have brought in additional revenue, with 19 teams making deals, at an average of about $9 million per year.
“Investor interest in the NBA is enormous right now,” Badenhausen wrote, “thanks to the league’s strong current economic environment, as well as the international growth prospects, which are the best of any major U.S. sports league.”