The Toronto Maple Leafs have been valued at $1 billion dollars, according to a report by Mike Ozanian of Forbes.com on Wednesday. Toronto is the first NHL franchise to be estimated at a worth of $1 billion.
According to the report, the sale of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan to Bell Centre and Roger Communications for $2.05 billion in June is what pushed the franchise's value to the $1 billion mark. In addition to the Maple Leafs, MLSE also includes the NBA's Toronto Raptors and Air Canada Centre.
The average NHL franchise is worth an estimated $282 million, which is an 18% increase from last season. However, there is a considerable gap between the top and bottom valuations. The top-five teams (in terms of value) are worth an estimated average of $605 million, while the bottom-five are valued at an average of $145 million.
According to the report, the Maple Leafs, Rangers and Canadiens accounted for 83% of the league's income.
For a complete list of team valuations, click here.