The Indian Premier League is one of the most valuable products in sports. That was proved again on Monday when two new IPL franchises were sold for a combined value of $1.6 billion.
Indian businessman Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG group won the bid for the city of Lucknow with an offer of $932 million, while private equity firm Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) will set up base in Ahmedabad after making a bid of $692 million.
Lucknow is situated in India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh, and has a state-of-the-art cricket venue - Ekana Stadium - with a capacity of 55,000. Ahmedabad is home to the biggest cricket stadium in the world - the Narendra Modi Stadium - with a capacity of 130,000.
RPSG group previously owned the Rising Pune Super Giant team, which is not in operation anymore. CVC Capital Partners are a known name in sports; they owned Formula One between 2006 and 2017 before it was taken over by Liberty Media. In August, La Liga clubs approved an investment of $3.2 billion by CVC into the league.
This puts the two new IPL franchises in elite company. With a valuation of nearly $1 billion, the Lucknow franchise costs more than twice what the Saudi-backed consortium paid to acquire Newcastle United in the Premier League, with that deal worth £300 million ($408 million). However, IPL franchises don't have to pay all the money up front; teams pay a percentage of the amount over 10 years.
So where do these new IPL franchise deals stand in the sporting world?
Forbes' list of top 10 sports club valuations in 2021
1. Dallas Cowboys (NFL), valued at $5.7 billion in 2021
2. New York Yankees (MLB), valued at $5.25 billion
3. New York Knicks (NBA), valued at $5 billion
4. Barcelona (football), valued at $4.76 billion
5. Real Madrid (football), valued at $4.75 billion
6. Golden State Warriors (NBA), valued at $4.7 billion
7. Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), valued at $4.6 billion
8. New England Patriots (NFL), valued at $4.4 billion
9. New York Giants (NFL), valued at $4.3 billion
10. Bayern Munich (football), valued at $4.21 billion