MLS franchise values - additional information
Major League Soccer, which played its first season in 1996, includes 20 teams, of which 17 are located in the U.S. and three in Canada. Even though the league has struggled with attendance in the past, attendance at MLS games has improved steadily since 2008. In the 12 months leading up to spring 2014, the number of people who attended a Major League Soccer event amounted to 3.25 million. During the 2014 season, the average per game attendance at MLS games stood at around 19 thousand.
On average, the teams of the MLS are worth around 140 million U.S. dollars, with the Seattle Sounders being the most valuable team at 245 million U.S. dollars. The LA Galaxy, founded in 1995, has a franchise value of 240 million U.S. dollars, only five million U.S. dollars less than the Sounders. The Seattle Sounders is also the team with the highest revenue in the MLS, with revenues of 50 million U.S. dollars in 2014. The second-ranked team LA Galaxy totaled 44 million U.S. dollars in revenues. Along with the two teams mentioned above, the Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers and Toronto FC round out the top five most valuable and profitable teams in the MLS.
The Sounders also lead the league in operating income. According to Forbes, the Seattle-based team had an operating income of 10 million U.S. dollars in 2014. In that same year, only eight MLS teams made a profit, such as Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy, while ten teams reported operating losses.