(CBS) In their annual release of franchise valuations, Forbes estimates the Bulls are worth $2.3 billion.
That makes the Bulls the third-most valuable franchise in the league, according to Forbes, trailing only the Knicks ($3 billion) and Lakers ($2.7 billion). That’s the same spot the Bulls held in January 2015, when Forbes estimated their worth at $2 billion. The Lakers were the most-valuable franchise then, per Forbes, but the Knicks have passed them in the past year.
The Celtics ($2.1 billion) and Clippers ($2 billion) rounded out this year’s top five. The defending champion Warriors ($1.9 billion) checked in at sixth, per Forbes. The average NBA franchise is now valued at $1.25 billion, up from $1.1 billion a year ago, Forbes reported.
The Bulls’ revenue is estimated at $228 million and their operating income at $68 million.
The Bulls have led the NBA in attendance in each of the past six seasons and top that list this year as well.
In general, the Bulls’ brand continues to do really well, as they checked in at No. 2 in team merchandise sales in updated figures released by the league Wednesday morning.
The worth of NBA franchises has skyrocketed in recent seasons in large part because of a massive new league television deal that will kick in for the 2016-’17 season. The total value of that deal has been reported to be $24 billion or about $2.67 billion annually.