Steve Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, during a pre-season game against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, October 10, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
Forbes this week released its top 20 list of the richest sports team owners in the world. Former CEO of Microsoft, owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Ballmer topped the list with 52.7 billion U.S. dollars.
According to Forbes, Ballmer saw his wealth grew by 28 percent compared with last year and he almost ranked among the top 10 richest people on earth.
However, he's still unrivaled in the sports world because the second-richest sports team owner Mukesh Ambani, Indian business magnate and owner of the IPL's Mumbai Indians (cricket), trailed Ballmer by 15.9 billion U.S. dollars.
Ballmer joined the sports team circle in 2014 when he spent two billion purchasing the Clippers from Donald Sterling. Since then, Ballmer kept investing hugely in the team. He paid for two maximum contracts that went to Kawi Leonard and Paul George, prepared one billion U.S. dollars for the construction of the Clippers' new arena, the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center.
Moreover, in order to clear the legal obstacles for building the new arena, Ballmer spent another 400 million buying The Forum, which is only one mile from the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center. He also invested 100 million in the local community.
Besides Ballmer, another six on the top 20 list own NBA teams and they are: Stanley Kroenke of the Denver Nuggets (10 billion U.S. dollars), Joseph Tsai of the Brooklyn Nets (10 billion), Robert Pera of the Memphis Grizzlies (seven billion), Daniel Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers (6.5 billion), Tom Gores of the Detroit Pistons (5.7 billion), Micky Arison of the Miami Heat (5.1 billion).
According to Forbes, there are currently 60 billionaires who own 80 sports teams in today's world. Many of them saw their wealth shrink because of the outbreak and the spreading of the new coronavirus. In the past five weeks, the total value of their assets dropped from 455 billion U.S. dollars to 383 billion.
Forbes' top 20 richest team owners (wealth listed in U.S. dollars):
1. Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers, 52.7 billion
2. Mukesh Ambani, Mumbai Indians, 36.8 billion
3. François Pinault & Family, Stade Rennais, 27 billion
4. Dietrich Mateschitz, New York Red Bulls, Red Bulls Racing, 16.5 billion
5. Hasso Plattner & Family, San Jose Sharks, 12.4 billion
6. David Tepper, Carolina Panthers, 12 billion
7. Roman Abramovich, Chelsea, 11.3 billion
8. Philip Anschutz, Los Angeles Kings, LA Galaxy, 11 billion
9. (tie) Stan Kroenke, Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids 10 billion
9. (tie) Joseph Tsai, Brooklyn Nets, 10 billion
11. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys, eight billion
12. Shahid Khan, Jacksonville Jaguars, 7.8 billion
13. Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins, 7.6 billion
14. Robert Pera, Memphis Grizzlies, seven billion
15. Robert Kraft, New England Patriots, New England Revolution, 6.8 billion
16. Dmitry Rybolovlev, Monaco, 6.6 billion
17. Daniel Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers, 6.5 billion
18. Tom Gores, Detroit Pistons, 5.7 billion
19. Micky Arison, Miami Heat, 5.1 billion
20. Terry Pegula, Buffalo Bulls, Buffalo Sabres, five billion