When the topic of sports comes up in conversation, most people think of and talk about the sport’s professional players. Athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo and Serena Williams sure do make a heck of a lot of money because they’re talented. After all, they worked darn hard to get to where they are, so it’s only natural that they have such high salaries. And then, when the topic of billionaires comes up, most people will talk about how they earned that money and the companies they own. But what they choose to purchase isn’t always known, let alone spoken about at the company water cooler.
But the topic of billionaires (and millionaires) who own sports teams isn’t such a much-talked-about topic. And that’s probably because most people have no idea who owns sports teams. Have you ever wondered who those super-wealthy sports team owners are? Well, now you have a go-to list of all the extremely rich individuals who felt that their money would be well spent purchasing entire sports teams.
Jeanie Marie Buss
Net Worth: $500 million
Owns: Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
I’m going to tell you right now that the women who own sports teams are far and few between. So why not start with a female tycoon? She and her sisters inherited the LA Lakers after their father Jerry Buss passed away in 2013. I feel the need to say that it’s awesome to see that there are powerful women in the world of sports, which needless to say is a male-dominated field.
Buss is the owner of Women of Wrestling as well as the Los Angeles Lakers, who are really one of the most loved sports teams in the world. Buss had a publicized battle due to her ownership of the Lakers over signing LeBron James, the NBA super-superstar. It remains to be seen whether she did the right move or not.
Jay-Z (Sean Carter)
Net worth: $930 million
Owns: Brooklyn Nets
Everyone knows Jay-Z and not only because he’s one of the best known hip hop artists around, but he’s also married to Queen B (Beyoncé), who is also considered one of the best music artists of the day. The power couple has been happily married for a while now and has three kids together. Shawn Carter, who chose the stage name Jay-Z, has been rapping since he was a teenager.
Just like most artists of his time, he started by putting out mixtapes. But it took a while until his talent was recognized and acknowledged. He later began releasing albums. The man has a ton of awards, including 2 Grammys, a feat no other hip hop artist has ever achieved. Oh, and he’s the part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets. They’re a relatively new NBA team.
Net worth: $400 million
Owns: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Racing Team
David Letterman, otherwise commonly referred to as the “king of late-night,” used to be everyone’s favorite talk show host for 33 years. That’s an accomplishment on its own, but after he retired, he wanted to add some more success to his name. He started interviewing famous people on his Netflix series, ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.’
Letterman owns the Worldwide Pants company, which produced Everybody loves Raymond as well as The Late Late Show. Letterman also owns Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The team races in a tournament called United SportsCar Championship, but it used to be known as the American Le Mans Series. This racecar team is based in Ohio and sometimes competes in the NTT IndyCar Series.
Net Worth: $8.8 billion
Owns: Los Angeles Rams (NFL), Colorado Rapids (MLS), Arsenal F.C. (Premier League)
It’s no surprise that Stan Kroenke has such a massive fortune. I mean, the man owns three very successful sports teams. But Kroenke isn’t just a sports team owner; he’s also very successful in the real estate industry and the wine industry as he owns his own winery called the Screaming Eagle. This 71-year-old billionaire sure is a man of culture.
Kroenke is married to Ann Walton Kroenke. Not many know who Ann is, but she’s the heir to the Walmart fortune. And it’s safe to say that Walmart is a successful business. So that pretty much sets these two as one of the biggest power couples in the world.
Net worth: $165 million
Owns: Seattle Sounders
Most people know Drew Carey as the famous comedian and TV personality who first came into the public eye with his sitcom, The Drew Carey Show. After that show went off the air, Carey became a TV host in his most memorable hosting role on the improv comedy sketch show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?” (I personally loved that show.) For years now, you can catch Carey on CBS where he hosts the game show, The Price is Right.
But aside from all that, the funny man and game show host also owns a sports team. I gotta say, I never would have thought. He decided to purchase the Seattle Sounders, soccer team. We’re not sure as to why, but he must really love the team.
Net Worth: $3.2 billion
Owns: New York Yankees
Harold “Hal” Steinbrenner became the co-chairman and general partner of the New York Yankees in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, he and his brother Hank ended up inheriting the team form their father, George, and Harold became the principal owner.
Steinbrenner has his fair share of duties as the owner of the Yankees, but he still finds the time to be the Chairman and CEO of Steinbrenner Hotel Properties. It seems like a lot already, but there’s more. He’s also a part of the Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America of Tampa Bay. Amazingly, the man has some free time, and with it, he enjoys flying his private airplanes.
For any Seinfeld fan, this one is kind of fun to see. Did you know that Larry David did the voice of George Steinbrenner?
Net worth: $85 million
Owns: Nashville Kats
Tim McGraw, one of the most famous country singers in the United States, loves more than just country music. McGraw released 15 studio albums and won three Grammys, 11 CMAs, 3 People’s Choice Awards, 14 ACM awards, and 10 AMAs. The man is also a guitar player in addition to being a singer. This man has talent…and wealth.
What many people don’t know about the country singer is that he also owns a part of the Arena Football team, the Nashville Kats. He purchased his share of the team because he has always been a lover of football, and he likes to host charity events along with retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre.
Net Worth: $2.1 billion
Owns: Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)
Philadelphia’s NFL team, The Eagles, is owned by the media mogul Jeffrey Lurie. He bought the team for $195 million from the previous owner, Norman Braman. Braman and his mother (who invested together) had to borrow from the Bank of Boston to buy the team. They each had to invest $5 million each, too.
Lurie is also a movie producer. He’s responsible for the movies Sweet Hearts Dance, Malibu Shoes, Inside Job, The Blind Side, Inocente, Sergio, and some others. He was able to purchase the Eagles thanks to the stocks he had from investing in the financial companies, Harcourt General and GG Cos. After selling his stocks, he had enough to go ahead and own his favorite sports team.
Net worth: $350 million
Owns: LA KISS
I think we can all recognize Gene Simmons, even without all the makeup. The lead singer of the famous rock group Kiss is a singer, songwriter, guitar player, and television personality. He’s known to his fans as “The Demon.” This man is known for having an opinion (and sharing it) on almost anything. It’s there for everyone to see on his reality TV show about him and his family. Oh, and he was also on CSI for a short period where he played himself.
Simmons is the proud owner of a Florida-based Arena Football team called LA Kiss. His team replaced the LA Avengers in AF1, and the team’s head coach is Omarr Smith. And this isn’t the only business the Kiss alum has. Simmons also owns of Erebus Pictures, a film production company.
Net worth: $400 million
Owns: Sacramento Kings
When it comes to NBA legends, Shaquille O’Neal is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in basketball. After he retired as a professional basketball player, he became the show host for the show, “Inside the NBA” on TNT. He larger than life man had many accolades, like being selected for 3 Finals MVP awards, 14 All-NBA team picks, and 15 All-Star games.
O’Neal is also a partial owner of the Sacramento Kings. He uses the time he spent playing basketball to help him make calculated decisions about the team and their strategies. Shaq isn’t the only former b-ball player who retired and purchased a team, as you will see later on in this list.
Net worth: $4.8 billion
Owns: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United
Arthur Blank is the man behind Home Depot, which is by far one of the most popular and successful industrial home stores. Who hasn’t been to Home Depot? He and investment banker, Ken Langone, wanted to start their own company that would open doors for those who prefer to work on home projects by themselves. Folks like us who want to find everything we needed for a home project in one place.
Blank was the president of Home Depot for 20 years before he retired and took the spot of the co-chairman. He started the business in 1978, and after acquiring his massive net worth, he decided to purchase an NFL team – the Atlanta Falcons. He also bought the parent company, AMB Group.
Net worth: $600 million
Owns: Miami Dolphins
Jimmy Buffett is a name that everyone has heard, but maybe not everyone knows what he did or does. He’s been in the music industry since 1969 as a singer who is best known for his Western and “island escapism” music. Buffett has had lots of hits, such as “Come Monday,” “Margaritaville,” and many others. He is a member of the Coral Reefer Band, a group whose fans are as wild as Kenny Chesney’s fans.
Buffet owns a moderate-sized portion of the Miami Dolphins, which is actually the team he wrote songs for. Buffet also owns the chain Cheeseburger in Paradise and a restaurant chain called Margaritaville Café. So music is the only love of his. Burgers, football, and margaritas are passions of his, too.
Net Worth: $20.4 billion
Owns: Seattle Seahawks (NFL)
Before passing away in October 2018, Paul Allen was a businessman and philanthropist who owned the Seahawks and the Seattle FC. But now the two teams are owned by his family as they inherited his assets. He also owned the NBA Trail Blazers at one point as well. Allen and Bill Gates started the company Microsoft, and by the time he passed away, he was the 46th richest man in the world.
Allen and his sister co-founded the company Vulcan, which is an organization that manages businesses and charities. His portfolio was as rich as he was, with media, real estate, technology, scientific research, and even spaceflight all under his resume. And all of which made him a billionaire.
Net worth: $100 million
Owns: Los Angeles F.C.
One of the funniest men on earth, John William Ferrell, is better known as Will Ferrell. The comedian is a true SNL alum and actor. He started an acting career when he became a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live. He wasn’t just popular and well-liked; he basically stole the show. Ferrell went on to star in tons of movies, such as Elf, Anchorman, The Other Guys, and Old School, just to name a few.
Oh, and he’s also the owner of a sports team. The funnyman is also a serious businessman who co-owns the Los Angeles’ soccer team. His love for comedy is met with his love for sports. I gotta admit, though. I figured him for a football fan.
Net Worth: $1.9 billion
Owns: Charlotte Hornets (NBA)
To say that Michael Jordan is one of the biggest names in basketball would be an understatement. He will probably forever be the name that many people think of when they think of basketball. Jordan was the MVP during his time playing for the Chicago Bulls. In 2003, the NBA legend retired, but at that point, he was playing for the Wizards.
In 2010, Jordan spent $175 million when he decided to buy the majority share of the Charlotte Hornets. This was a smart investment on Jordan’s part as the Hornets are currently worth over a billion dollars. While some people have doubts about Jordan leading the Hornets, there’s no denying the fact that having a former NBA pro as your owner is a great position for a sports team to be in.
Net worth: $140 million
Owns: St. Paul Saints
Bill Murray can be put in many categories. He’s a comedian, beloved actor, and even part-owner of the St. Paul Saints baseball team. Murray originally came from Illinois. He stepped into the limelight as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, and his career took off. He received his first Emmy from the sketch comedy show.
After leaving SNL, Murray started appearing in movies like Ghostbusters, What about Bob?, Groundhog Day, and Caddyshack. He then showed the world that he was more than just a funny guy when he took roles in serious films, such as Lost in Translation. He won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and even snagged an Oscar nomination for his role.
Net Worth: $1.5 billion
Owns: New York Knicks (NBA)
James Dolan was born in New York City, so it only makes sense that he chose to buy the New York Knicks when it came to deciding which sports team to own. Not only is he the owner of an NBA team, but he’s also the CEO and executive chairman of Madison Square Garden, you know, the famous building in NYC where the Knicks play their games.
He also owns the MSG Network and is responsible for its operations as well as the operations of the sports team owned by the network. The New York Knicks are only part of it; the WNBA team New York Liberty and the New York Rangers are part of the network as well.
Net Worth: $6.7 billion
Owns: Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
Born and bred in Los Angeles, Jerry Jones chose to own a Dallas football team instead. He’s the man who owns the Dallas Cowboys. Back in the day, Jones worked with the Teamsters worker’s union. There was a rumor going around that Jones borrowed $1 million from Jimmy Hoffa to be able to start a chain of pizza parlors. That business failed, though. He used his Teamsters money to try his luck with other business ventures.
Jones managed to find success in the oil and gas industry, and it led him in the direction of opening his own company in Arkansas. He bought the Cowboys team in the 90s, and that was what cemented his status as a billionaire.
Net Worth: $46.9 billion
Owns: L.A. Clippers (NBA)
Between 2000 and 2014, Steve Ballmer was the CEO of Microsoft. Currently, he’s one of the top 20 richest people in the world. He may not be in charge of Microsoft anymore, but he is responsible for the NBA Clippers since he owns the team. Ballmer went to Stanford, but he dropped out. He then went to Harvard University. Bill Gates must have liked the guy because he handpicked Ballmer to be his successor as the CEO of Microsoft.
When Donald Sterling, the previous owner of the Clippers, was forced by the commissioner of the NBA to grow the team, Ballmer saw a real opportunity. And so, he purchased the team for $2 billion.
Net Worth: $4.1 billion
Owns: Dallas Mavericks (NBA)
Mark Cuban may not be a former sports player or a famous actor; he is still a prominent and popular sports team owner due to his successful business enterprises. The man is smart and always seems to have a tactic, whether on the field or off it. You’ve probably seen his face on the popular reality series Shark Tank, where he’s one of the “sharks” who choose to invest (or not) in people’s business ideas.
Since 2000, when Cuban purchased the majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million, the team won 69% of their regular-season games and got to the playoffs in each of those seasons (except for one). The Mavericks’ record with Cuban is 49 wins and 57 losses.
Net worth: $100 million
Owns: New York Mets
Bill Maher is no stranger to show business since he became a comedian in 1979. The funnyman is also a commentator, author, and TV show host. He is notorious for being sarcastic and highly opinionated in his role as a satirical commentator and host. And he still lives in the spot he was born: New York City.
Something I think most people have no idea about is how Maher is a part-owner of the New York Mets. He meant it when he said that this purchase was one of the best investment decisions he ever made. While a lot of people are likely surprised to learn that Bill Maher owns a sports team, just wait until you see who the next celebrity sports team owner is.
Net Worth: $4 billion
Owns: Houston Texans (NFL)
Robert McNair, the philanthropist, and businessman find himself both inside and outside the sports industry. He didn’t find so much success as a businessman in his twenties and thirties at the start of his career; he did manage to make it to billionaire status. And he struck gold when he founded Cogen Tech.
Cogen sold his company Eron in 1999, which was a cogeneration company. He owned several power plants in several states and was the CEO of the real estate and financial company The McNair Group. Believe it or not, those weren’t his only business ventures as he also owned Palmetto Partners, Ltd., which is a private investment company. And yes, he owns the Houston Texans.
Net Worth: $2.8 billion
Owns: New Orleans Saints (NFL)
I’m happy to introduce you to another female billionaire on this male-dominated list. After the death of her husband, Tom Benson, who owned several sports teams, Gayle took over the ownership of the teams. This was very different from her previous career as an interior decorator.
Even though most people choose to name their children as their heirs, Tom felt that his wife should succeed him. Needless to say, this matter went to court. And in the end, Gayle was granted ownership of all of her husband’s assets, and that included the New Orleans Saints. The woman is 72, so it’s a matter of time until she decides who her heirs will be.
Net Worth: $4.1 billion
Owns: Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
Henry Samueli is the owner of the professional hockey team the Anaheim Ducks. Samueli was born in Buffalo, New York, but currently lives in Newport Beach, California. There, he’s become known for being more of a philanthropist. He was also once the chairman of the communications company Broadcom, Inc., and in December 2018, he resigned as chief technology officer after 27 years in the role.
He was in engineering at UCLA, but he had to take a leave of absence from his job to run the NHL team properly. Samueli is also an NAE member, AAAS member, IEEE member, and more than 70 U.S. patents are under his name. Not too shabby, Henry.
Net Worth: $3.6 billion
Owns: Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
Joshua Harris owns the Philadelphia 76ers, but he does more than that. He founded a private equity company called Apollo Global Management. He owns the New Jersey Devils, too, and has shares in the Crystal Palace. He has one of the largest alt-investment firms in the whole world.
Joshua Harris bought the Philadelphia team with the money he had from his investment group. The purchase was made in 2011. The 76ers previous owner was Comcast. The members of Harris’ investment group are Michael Rubin, Will, and Jada Smith, James Lassiter, and Marc Lede, among others.
Harris co-founded Apollo Global Management in 1990 with billionaires Leon Black and Marc Rowan. The trio met at Drexel Burnham Lambert and struck out on their own after the firm filed for bankruptcy.
Net worth: $4.8 billion
Owns: Washington Nationals (MLB)
The owner of the MLB team, the Washington Nationals, is Ted Learner, a real estate developer. His real estate company is Lerner Enterprises, and it’s actually the largest private company in the D.C. Metro area. The company consists of a hotel, residential, retail, and commercial properties.
Lerner also owns New York City’s Chelsea Piers and is titled the richest man in the state of Maryland. He’s been with his wife, Annette, since 1951, and they have three children together. When Lerner started his company, Annette lent him $250, which he took and turned Learner Enterprises into a billion-dollar enterprise. According to Forbes, Lerner is the second-wealthiest owner in baseball. His family is set for life.
Net worth: $5.1 billion
Owns: San Francisco Giants
Charles Bartlett Johnson, Yale alumni, was born in New Jersey. He was in the ROTC program in college, and he was a lieutenant in Germany. He is a billionaire businessman who became the owner of the San Francisco Giants, but he doesn’t reside in the same city as the team. What he does is let his employees make the small, day-to-day decisions while he remains in his home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Johnson is one of Yale’s main donors, and he contributed lots of money to the Yale Bowl. The philanthropist founded the Johnson Center, which does research on American Diplomacy. His most recent donation to the university was made to build two new Yale colleges.
Net worth: $5.9 billion
Owns: Leicester City F.C.
Khun Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (try pronouncing that correctly) was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and he attended university there. He’s the CEO of the King Power Company, which is the main retail group in Thailand. It was founded by his father. He is also the partial owner of OH Leuven, and Leicester City F.C. Khun is a business tycoon whose net worth is just about $6 billion.
After his father was tragically killed in a helicopter accident, Aiyawatt inherited his father’s ventures; the King Power Company and the Leicester City F.C. An interesting fact about Khun is that he is an ordained monk. Apparently, his name means “light of progressive glory,” so it fits that he’s as wealthy as he is.
Net worth: $7.2 billion
Owns: Memphis Grizzlies
Robert Pera is just 41 years old, which means he is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. In 2012, he bought the team Memphis Grizzlies and joined the niche of billionaire sports team owners. He purchased the team from Michael Heisley. Pera was was 36 when he officially became a billionaire. Now he’s one of the top ten youngest in the world.
Pera is the founder of a global tech company called Ubiquiti Networks. He opened it to the public in 2011 for an IPO. At a time, he worked for Apple, one of the most popular tech companies in the world, but he left the company to start Ubiquiti Networks.
Net Worth: $6.6 billion
Owns: New England Patriots (NFL)
Robert Kraft has been a real fan of the Patriots for quite some time. He has actually been a season ticket holder since 1971. Kraft is also the man who fought to keep the Patriots in New England. When he purchased the team for $172 million back in 1994, it was at the time the highest price someone has ever paid for an NFL team.
Suffice it to say that the Patriots are one of the best in the league. Of the last 18 Super Bowls, this team has played in 9 of them and even won 6. The Patriots are currently worth $3.7 billion, and they’re charitable to; the team donated over $100 million to charities and philanthropic causes.
Net Worth: $2.7 billion
Owns: Indianapolis Colts (NFL)
Jim Irsay’s father bought the Baltimore Colts when Jim was only 12. He joined the team in 1982 after graduating from college. He did all kinds of jobs with them, from ticket sales to PR. By the time the year 1984 came around, Jim’s father became the Colt’s vice president and general manager. In 1997, the father died, and Jim inherited the team.
He was 37 years old at the time, which made him the youngest NFL team owner in the world. It became clear that the Colts have been flourishing more with Irsay than with his father. The team had 14 winning seasons and won the 2006 Super Bowl. He made some great investments in non-sports industries, like in music and memorabilia.
Net worth: $9.8 billion
Owns: Brooklyn Nets
Mikhail Prokhorov is a billionaire and an activist as well as part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets. He was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1965 and went to the Moscow Finance Institute. He made wise investments in precious metals like gold and silver, which turned him into one of Russia’s leading businessmen. He also started to run a company called Norilsk Nickel that was the largest producer of precious metals in the world, including palladium and nickel.
Prokhorov, through Onexim Sports and Entertainment, owns and is the Governor of the Brooklyn Nets and their NBA G League team, the Long Island Nets. He owns Barclays Center and has majority ownership in the operating company NYCB LIVE, which is home to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Net worth: $10.3 billion
Owns: LA Lakers, LA Kings
Philip Anschutz is a philanthropist as well as a business owner who managed to get his alarming net worth to over 11 billion dollars through investments mostly. He has investments in various fields, including movies, music, newspapers, theaters, real estate, arenas, sports, energy, and railroads. He clearly likes to branch out.
His father owned Circle A, a drilling company, and then in 1960, Anschutz bought out his father’s share of the company. He used the proceeds from Circle A to invest in things like land, railroads, and stocks. Later on, the billionaire managed to get into the world of sports and entertainment and is now the proud owner of two Los Angeles teams.
Net worth: $13.1 billion
Owns: San Jose Sharks
Hasso Plattner, like many others on this list, is a philanthropist and a billionaire. He founded a German software company called SAP SE. In 2003, he joined the committee board as a supervisory chair. He also owns the NFL team, the San Jose Sharks. As a philanthropist, he is very much interested in charity work and is dedicated to serving South Africa.
He works hard to battle the AIDS crisis in South Africa and spends a lot of time in the country. Plattner also supports two universities by donating money. He donated more than 6 million dollars to KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town University. While Plattner is invested in South Africa, he is German in origin.
Net worth: $20.2 billion
Owns: Red Bull Racing, New York Red Bulls
Dietrich Mateschitz’s first job was at Unilever, working as a detergent marketer. He then moved to Blendax, marketing toothpaste. But his big break was when he went on a trip to Thailand where he got the idea for Red Bull. He founded the popular energy drink company. It also led him to start a professional racing company, Red Bull Racing.
Mateschitz founded Red Bull with two of his business partners from Thailand; Chaleo and Chalerm Yoovidhya. He found the inspiration for Red Bull after finding a non-trademarked energy drink from Thailand, which was called Krating Daeng. He took it and rolled with it. And the rest is history.
Net worth: $52.8 billion
Owns: Mumbai Indians
Mukesh Ambani founded Reliance Industries Limited, which is the most valuable company in India if you judge it by its market value. Before founding his company, he graduated from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Yemen. Ambani is the 13th person on the list of the world’s wealthiest people, and he’s also the richest man in Asia.
RLI is not just a holding company; it also has stakes in the fields of communication, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. Thanks to all the proceeds he got from his businesses, Ambani was able to invest in another love of his: sports. He purchased a cricket team called the Mumbai Indians. It is the only cricket team on this list!
Net worth: $5.1 billion
Owns: Orlando Magic
Born in Michigan, Richard Devos graduated from Calvin College. After finishing his education, he co-founded a company called Amway, which is an MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) company. He started the company with Jay Van Andel, and it sells all kinds of products related to health and beauty. In 2000, they restructured the company, and the name was changed to Alticor.
His net worth is just over $5 billion, earning him a spot on the list of the 300 wealthiest people in the world. He sits in the 60th position. Devos is the owner of an NBA team, of course, as he purchased the Orlando Magic. He has four children with his wife, Helen. I’m sure the family is pleased.
Net worth: $30 billion
Owns: Manchester City F.C.
The Manchester Football Club is by far one of the world’s most popular clubs. It brings millions of global fans each year. The club is owned by Sheikh Mansour, who was born in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). He served as the deputy prime minister of the country, and on top of that, he’s a member of Dubai’s Royal Family. The current president of UAE, Khalifa Al Nahyan, is his stepbrother.
Mansour owns some stakes in a few companies: Sky News Arabia, a Middle Eastern media company, and a space travel company that is owned by Richard Branson, called Virgin Galactic. Apart from all that, he owns an investment company called ADUG.
Net Worth: $8.5 billion
Owns: Miami Heat (NBA)
Micky Arison was born in Israel and went to university there before dropping out and getting into business with his dad, who founded the Carnival Cruise Corporation. The company was founded in 1972 with only one ship. Arison spent 34 years working as the CEO and managed to turn it into the largest cruise operator in the world. It grew from 2 ships to 100 ships.
In 2018, Arison started The Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, which helped communities affected by natural disasters. Arison also bought the Miami Heat. And with him as their owner, the Heat managed to win 3 NBA championships. Arison also brought in future all-stars of basketball, such as Lebron, Shaq, Pat Riley, and DWade.
Net worth: $1.4 billion
Owns: Arizona Cardinals
Bill Bidwill is the billionaire who owns the Arizona Cardinals, the team which he used to share ownership of with his brother. However, Bill took sole ownership of the team after a short period. He and his brother were in the Navy together, before Bill decided to enroll in Georgetown University and make a living in business.
In the 80s, Bill won the NFL Alumni Order of the Leather Helmet. The team used to be owned by his parents, and he inherited it from them. Aside from the fact that he has the longest tenure of any NFL owner, he is said to be quite frugal in running the team. Allegedly, he pays the players very little.
Net Worth: $ 2.2 billion
Owns: Washington Redskins (NFL)
Here’s one billionaire who never graduated from college. Dan Snyder chose to drop out of university and, thus, never graduated. But, that didn’t stop him from succeeding in life, as he recently purchased a $100 million Superyacht. Aside from the superyacht, he bought the legendary NFL team, the Washington Redskins, for $800 million back in 1999. At the time, that purchase was the most expensive in sports history.
Snyder has always been a businessman. Back in 1989, he and his sister Michelle started an advertising business together, which they later sold for a whopping $2.5 billion. Today, Snyder is one of the investors of Red Zebra Broadcast. The man didn’t need a degree to make this happen.
Net worth: $4.1 billion
Owns: Baltimore Ravens
Stephen Bisciotti, who was born in Philadelphia, went to Salisbury State University. He now lives in Maryland. He’s a board member for Associated Catholic Charities and a main decision-maker for the team Baltimore Ravens. He’s been a sports lover ever since he was a young boy, where he attended Colts and Orioles games with his family.
Bisciotti ended making his fortune when he founded a staffing company for a medical business, Aerotek, which is also based in Maryland. He also founded Allegis Group, the talent management company. That firm even owns a few different companies, all of which help increase Bisciotti’s fortune. He’s married to Renée Bisciotti since 1984, and they two sons, Jack and Jason. They live on the Point Field Landing of the Severn River in Maryland.
Net worth: $4.3 billion
Owns: Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres
Terry Pegula reached billionaire status from having assets in different areas: professional sports, real estate, gas and oil, entertainment, and gas development. He is the owner of the NHL team, the Buffalo Sabers, and the NFL team, the Buffalo Bills. Apart from those, he also owns the NLL’s Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks. Oh, and the AHL’s Rochester Americans, too.
When he bought the holding company for the Bandits and the Sabres, Pegula made an impact with the teams’ fans. This investment cost him a “mere” $189 million, and it seems like he made a wise choice as a lot of people deem the man to be a great and innovative team leader.
Net Worth: $12.7 billion
Owns: Chelsea Football Club
After the Soviet Union collapsed, Roman Abramovich, a Russian-Israeli oligarch (which are businessmen who acquired huge wealth in post-Soviet states), was able to rise up and make a fortune. While he was once an unknown and minor businessman, he now owns real estate investments, and steel and nickel companies. He is now among the 100 richest people on Earth.
In 2003, Abramovitch bought the popular and successful Chelsea Football Club. After that, he was able to make the team into a major trophy winner, coming in second to Manchester United. Abramovitch is an avid art collector, too, and owns a few yachts and even bought a 767 jet. Wow.
Net worth: $1.4 billion
Owns: Detroit Lions
It’s time to add another woman to the list. Martha Ford was born in 1925 and graduated from Vassar College. She used to be married to William clay, the man who owned the Detroit Lions from 1947 until he passed away in 2014. Naturally, she inherited her late husband’s NFL team and is now worth over a billion dollars.
Ford doesn’t credit all of her fortune just to her husband, though, as she’s also an heiress herself. She is the granddaughter of the people who founded the Tire & Rubber Company. Ford is the main holder of the Detroit Lions, but she’s not the only Ford to invest. Her children also own small shares of the team.
Net worth: $2 billion
Owns: Kansas City Chiefs
Clark Hunt is the grandson of H.L. Hunt, the oil tycoon and one of the richest men in the United States. Hunt invests in Major League Soccer and is the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. He oversees the operations of FC Dallas, too, as he chairs the Hunt Supports Group.
Even though Hunt inherited the Kansas City Chiefs and didn’t outright choose to buy it, he is very involved in the team’s success. He goes to every meeting in the NFL as a representative of the team. He takes it seriously and doesn’t let anyone else make decisions in his place, not even the regular “less important” day-to-day ones. That’s admirable, is it not?
Net worth: $2.4 billion
Owns: LA Chargers
Alex Spanos was born in Stockton, California, in 1923 and graduated from the University of the Pacific. He made a fortune through real estate development and decided to later found his own company called A.G. Spanos Companies. Thanks to that company, he was able to buy the Chargers, and his estate currently controls the whole team.
The Charger’s previous owner was Eugene Klein, from whom he bought 60% of the team’s shares in 1984. He invested $43.8 million in this purchase and became the majority shareholder for the Charges. If we adjusted that sum for inflation, that amount would be almost double today.
Net worth: $100 million
Owns: San Francisco 49ers
The whole York family has stakes in the San Francisco 49ers. The team was once owned by Jed’s uncle, Edward J. DeBartolo, but then it went to his parents, who now own the majority of the team. Jed is just a partial owner but is the franchise’s current CEO. It’s well-known that Jed loves the team very much.
He always had high hopes for the team and even predicted they would make the playoffs in 2010. At the time, they were five games behind, and everyone ridiculed Jed for his statement. However, it turned out to be true, and he proved that, with a little faith, anything is possible.
Net Worth: $11.6 billion
Owns: Carolina Panthers (NFL)
David Tepper was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a middle-class family. Since he grew up in a modest family and had a relatively humble background, Tepper likes to stay out of the spotlight. He attended Carnegie-Mellon, having graduated with an MBA in Science in Industrial Administration.
Tepper really is a self-made billionaire. He made his fortune from Appaloosa Management, the hedge fund firm he founded. He purchased the Carolina Panthers from their previous owner, Jerry Richardson, in 2018, having paid $2.2 billion. He described his mission: “to launch a major expansion of the team’s footprint in both Carolinas.” According to the fans, he’s living up to his goal quite well.
Net Worth: $ 7.2 billion
Owns: Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
LeBron James and Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, have a relationship that’s more like the one you would see in a soap opera than what you might find on a basketball court. All the drama on the team ended when LeBron returned in 2014. However, it didn’t last long since he now plays for the LA Lakers.
The Cavaliers became big successes after Gilbert became the team’s majority owner in 2005. Since then, they won one NBA title, 5 Eastern Conference championships, and 6 Central Division championships. It’s not hard to see why Cavaliers fans are happy with the way Gilbert is leading the team. He knows what he’s doing.
Net worth: $1.6 billion
Owns: Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox
Jerry Reinsdorf started a career in business as an IRS tax lawyer. Fast forward a few years, and he now owns two Chicago teams: the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox. Jerry has been in charge of the two teams for 25 years. He was also able to make a fortune through real estate and through his job as a CPA.
He managed to sell the property and take advantage of tax deduction with a reduction in value by leasing it back. This was done so well that he managed to make billions from it, and that allowed him to buy the Chicago Bulls in 1985. Even though the Bulls weren’t doing too well back then, Reinsdorf managed to turn it all around and make the team into the success they are today.
Net worth: $700 million
Owns: Milwaukee Brewers
Mark Attanasio is from the Bronx and went to Brown University. After he graduated, he attended Columbia Law School, where he got his J.D. in 1982. He lives in Los Angeles now, but he is the owner of the Brewers, the MLB team is based in Milwaukee. He’s also the senior executive for Crescent Capital and the senior executive of Trust Co.
Attanasio made his fortune from his work in finance. He bought the NLB team from the then-commissioner Bud Selig’s family for a nice $223 million. Even though the family rejected the deal at first, the purchase was made, and the rest is history. They don’t regret it, and neither does Attanasio; that’s for sure.
Net worth: $800 million
Owns: Tampa Bay Rays
Stuart Sternberg is one of those Wall Street investors from Brooklyn – we all know those guys. Well, Stuart got into stock exchange when he was still a college student. Eventually, he became part of an investment group named Spear, Leads, & Kellogg. Now, Stuart is the owner of the NHL team, the Tampa Bay Rays.
Since 2005, he has also put himself in the position of the team’s managing general partner. Stuart puts all of his focus into running the Tampa Bay Rays. He has the time, and some energy left after retiring in 2002 from running his company, where he was a partner, called Goldman Sachs. Now, it’s all about the Rays.
Net worth: $1.1 billion
Owns: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates have gone through 6 owners during their existence as a team, and Robert Nutting is now their current owner. He has the nickname “Bottom Line Bob,” which he got from those around him after noticing his tendency to care more about making profits than beating the competition with results.
Nutting is the 10th-richest team owner when it comes to Major League Baseball. He is also the CEO of Ogden Newspapers, which is a media company. Not to mention that he also owns Seven Springs Mountain Resort, a ski resort. Kevin McClatchy and a group of investors bought the team for $90 million in 1996. Ogden Nutting was one of those investors, who contributed $2 million, and then became the principal owner in 2007.
Art Rooney II
Net Worth: $1.2 billion
Owns: Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been part of the Rooney family for generations. Following decades of being on the board of directors, Art Rooney II is finally the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2003, he became the owner after his father passed the team down to him. The Steelers happen to be a very successful team, having won 3 AFC Championships as well as 2 Super Bowl titles.
Rooney is now in his later 60s, is married, and has four children. He does more than just own a sports team, however. He is also an active member of his community. Rooney has a law degree and works as counsel at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s law firm.
Net Worth: $500 million
Owns: The New York Mets (MLB)
The New York Mets go down as one of the most famous sports teams in the world, and the team is largely owned by Fred Wilpon, the 82-year-old businessman. He has three kids, and his son Jeff is the Mets’ COO. Wilpon likes to keep this business in the family.
In 2008, he got himself involved in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, which led many people to believe that he will lose his ownership of the Mets. While the scandal cost him $700 million, he still managed to keep his ownership of the MLB team. According to Forbes, the Mets are worth $2.1 billion, making the minority stakes in the team each worth $80 million.
Patrick Dennis Bowlen
Net Worth: $1 billion
Owns: Denver Broncos (NFL)
In 1984, Bowlen became the owner of the Denver Broncos and had been the CEO of the team ever since. He had to leave this position, however, due to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. During his three decades of running the team, the Broncos won two AFC titles, three Super Bowls, and hundreds of wins.
There was some court drama while Bowlen was running the team. A long legal battle took place when some shares of the company were sold to John Elway. It sparked opposition from Edgar Kaiser, the team’s former owner. In 2008, a decision was finally made, and it was that Bowlen’s sale was fair, and the dispute was settled.
John W. Henry
Net Worth: $2.7 billion
Owns: Boston Red Sox (MLB), Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR)
In 1991, Henry bought a small share of the Yankees, who were then the rivals of the Red Sox. That’s how he entered the world of baseball. In 2004, while the Sox were in Henry’s leadership, they won the World Series, which was major since they had been losing for 86 years. They finally broke the “Curse of the Bambino” and later went on to win even 3 more championships.
Henry owns Roush Fenway Racing and managed to lead them to win the Daytona 500 two years after they came under his ownership. That wasn’t enough for him, though, as he is the owner of The Boston Globe, too. He was featured in the movie Moneyball, the acclaimed and award-winning film.
Net worth: $7.7 billion
Owns: Miami Dolphins
Stephen Ross owns a large majority (95%) of the NFL team, the Miami Dolphins. He is the creator of the Drone Racing League, as well. He does a lot more, too, as he is also a real estate developer. He made his fortune from a real estate firm that he founded in 1972 called The Related Companies.
As for his education, Ross graduated from the University of Michigan. He then went to Wayne State University and got his Juris Doctor. If that wasn’t enough, he got an LLM from NYY. He also owns the Hard Rock Stadium, and his company built the Time Warner Center.
There you have it, folks. Who’s in the mood for a good game of football?