The nice people at Forbes have put together their annual National Hockey League franchise valuations, using a series of mechanisms, levers and pulleys to approximate the value of the league’s clubs. The Calgary Flames were given an approximate valuation of $435 million by Forbes, down slightly from 2014 and good for 15th – right in the middle – for the league as a whole.
The Flames have seen a fairly generous up-tick in their Forbes valuation over the past five seasons (all in US dollars):
- 2011: $220 million
- 2012: $245 million
- 2013: $420 million
- 2014: $451 million
- 2015: $435 million
One primary driver of their rising in valuation has to be their operating income (defined by Forbes by using their EBITDA, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation or amortization). It’s basically profit, but not entirely (as all the factors they leave out usually eat into profit a bit).
- 2011: $0.7 million
- 2012: $11 million
- 2013: $11.5 million
- 2014: $22.3 million
- 2015: $25.9 million
Why the decrease in value this year? I’d point the finger primarily at the Canadian dollar. With the Flames taking in revenues primarily in Canadian dollars but paying out to their players (and other partners) primarily in greenbacks, they’ve taken a bit of a hit this past year.
In terms of Canadian clubs, the Flames are ahead of only Winnipeg (with their small arena and market) and Ottawa (with their suburban arena and small market) when it comes to Forbes valuations. That said, they’re not too far behind Edmonton ($460 million) and their shiny new arena and McDavid, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
Presumably if the dollar ever improves and/or the Flames get CalgaryNEXT built, their valuation will take another leap upwards. The Forbes numbers aren’t exactly gospel, but in terms of having a vague idea of trends in cashflow and expenses for the league’s teams, they can be useful. And in terms of the Calgary Flames, they appear to be doing fine financially.