Steve Ballmer leads owners of four major sports with $23.5B net worth

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

North American sports team owners were prevalent in Forbes' annual list of billionaires published Tuesday as 20 NBA owners, 19 NFL owners, 10 NHL owners and eight MLB owners all fit the bill.

The richest among those is Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who Forbes says is the 26th-richest person in the world with a net worth of $23.5 billion.

Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, bought the Clippers in 2014 for a record $2 billion.

Paul Allen, Ballmer's Microsoft compatriot, owns both the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers and is worth $17.5 billion (40th overall in Forbes rankings). Rounding out the top five are Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross at $12 billion (80th), Los Angeles Kings owner Phil Anschutz at $9.7 billion (108th) and Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke at $7.7 billion (148th).

Kroenke's wife, Ann, is worth $4.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Other NBA owners on the list include the Brooklyn Nets' Mikhail Prokhorov ($7.6B), Miami Heat owner Micky Arison ($7.1B), New York Knicks owner Charles Dolan ($5B), Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers ($4.9B), Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos ($4.7B), Tom Gores from the Detroit Pistons ($3.3B), Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban ($3.3B), Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon ($2.8B), New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson ($2.2B), Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera ($2B), Glen Taylor from the Minnesota Timberwolves ($1.8B), Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry ($1.7B), Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander ($1.5B), Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller ($1.4B), Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf ($1.3B), former Bulls player and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan ($1.1B) and Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler ($1.1B).

The richest NFL owners include Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan ($5.9B), Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ($5B), New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft ($4.8B), Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula ($4B), Houston Texans owner Robert McNair ($3.3B), Stephen Bisciotti of the Baltimore Ravens ($3B), New York Giants co-owner Joan Tisch ($3.3B), the Atlanta Falcons' Arthur Blank ($2.6B), Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam ($2.3B), Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay ($2.3B), New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder ($2.1B), San Francisco 49ers owner Denise York ($1.9B), Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie ($1.8B), San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos ($1.7B) and Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford ($1.3B).

After Anschutz, Kroenke, Dolan (New York Rangers) and Pegula (Buffalo Sabres), the next richest NHL owner is the Detroit Red Wings' Michael Ilitch ($4.8B). Other NHL owners who made the list include Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs ($3.7B), Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz ($3.2B), Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli ($2.6B), Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola ($1.9B) and Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ron Burkle ($1.5B).

The richest MLB owner is Ted Lerner of the Washington Nationals ($5.5B), followed by Ilitch (Detroit Tigers), San Francisco Giants owner Charles Johnson ($4.6B), Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton ($2.7B), Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher ($2.2B), Los Angeles Dodgers owner Mark Walter ($2.2B), Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno ($1.8B), Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis ($1.7B) and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

The richest non-owner in the sports world is Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who has a net worth of $24.4 billion. New Balance founder Jim Davis is worth $4.9 billion, according to Forbes, while Under Armour founder Kevin Plank is worth $3.2 billion. Reebok founder Paul Fireman, who sold the company to Adidas, is worth $1 billion.

UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, the magazine says, are worth $1.4 billion each.

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