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Wendell Cruz | USA TODAY Sports

We always seem to hear about how owners of professional sports teams have a hard time making money. And now more than ever, fans realize how much bologna that usually is. However, it does seem to be easier to make money in certain sports than others. The Knicks, Giants, and Jets are all proof of that for New York-area squads.

Mike Ozanian of Forbes compiled the data and recently published an article highlighting the 25 most profitable pro sports teams over the past three years. Ozanian used operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) as the main determination for these rankings. Here’s the top 25, with the aforementioned New York teams bolded:

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Tottenham Hotspur
  4. New York Knicks
  5. Manchester United
  6. Houston Texans
  7. Golden State Warriors
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. New York Giants
  10. Manchester City
  11. Los Angeles Rams
  12. Liverpool
  13. Washington Commanders
  14. Chicago Bulls
  15. Chicago Bears
  16. Dallas Mavericks
  17. Jacksonville Jaguars
  18. Boston Celtics
  19. Denver Broncos
  20. Miami Dolphins
  21. New York Jets
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers
  23. Houston Rockets
  24. Philadelphia Eagles
  25. Bayern Munich

Overall, we’ve got five soccer teams, seven NBA teams, and 13 NFL teams on this list. Ozanian also offered the following reasons as to why no NHL or MLB teams cracked the top 25:

  • They suffered the most from the pandemic when it came to attendance
  • Their broadcasting deals aren’t as lucrative
  • MLB’s competitive balance tax, which tries to keep spending down instead of having a hard salary cap

The Knicks generated an operating income of $404 million, while the Giants finished at $333 million, and the Jets were at $253 million. Not too shabby considering these teams haven’t won a championship during this time and haven’t had too many playoff appearances to speak of.

As they say, the brand is strong.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.