Yankees and Mets Top Most Valuable Franchise List

New York's baseball teams are worth more than $2 billion combined

One-third of Major League Baseball teams declined in value over the past year while the New York Yankees' worth increased 15 percent to $1.5 billion, according to the annual estimates by Forbes magazine.

The Washington Nationals took the biggest hit during the recession, down 12 percent to $406 million. The Atlanta Braves dropped 10 percent and the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners each were off 9 percent, the magazine said on Wednesday.

The decline by 10 teams was the most since 2004, Forbes said.

Bolstered by their new $1.5 billion stadium, the Yankees showed the top increase and remained the most valuable franchise in MLB. The New York Mets, also boosted by a new ballpark, were second in value ($912 million) and increase (11 percent).

Boston ($833 million), the Los Angeles Dodgers ($722 million) and the Chicago Cubs ($700 million) followed at the top.

The Florida Marlins' worth increased 8 percent, but the team ranked last in value at $277 million. Pittsburgh ($288 million) and Kansas City ($314 million) were among the bottom three.

Overall, Forbes said the average value of the 30 MLB franchises increased 1 percent to an all-time high of $482 million.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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