Forbes: Dolphins More Valuable Than Heat

The Miami Dolphins are the 22nd most valuable sports franchise in the world in Forbes' latest rankings

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    The Miami Dolphins have not played in a Super Bowl since the 1984 season, but the team is still by far the most valuable franchise in South Florida, according to Forbes.

    The financial publication values the Dolphins at $1.01 billion, 22nd on its list and 14th among NFL teams. For comparison's sake, the most valuable franchise on earth, Manchester United, is worth $2.23 billion. ManU will become a publicly-traded company later this year, with an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Forbes says of the team, "The Dolphins roster of investors reads like a who's who of pop culture: Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Fergie, and Serena and Venus Williams."

    That was the nicest statement Forbes could muster for a franchise whose season ticket sales have sagged following a decade of mediocrity. "The Dolphins brand has been damaged in recent years after three straight losing seasons and only one playoff appearance in the last decade."

    Forbes also noted, "The Dolphins, team sponsors and the local TV station often bought unsold tickets to prevent home games from being blacked out."

    The Dolphins are the only team from South Florida to make the list of 50 on Forbes.com. That could change as soon as next year, though. The Miami Heat could shoot up the rankings if a rumored local television deal comes to fruition.

    In June, Forbes reported that Fox Sports Florida is negotiating a long-term television deal with the team worth $80 to $100 million per year. It would be the second most lucrative deal in the NBA, behind the Los Angeles Lakers' newest deal with Time Warner Cable. In January, Forbes said the Heat were the sixth most valuable franchise in the NBA, worth $457 million.

    While every team in the NFL made Forbes' 50-team list, only two NBA teams were included, the Lakers and the New York Knicks. The Dallas Cowboys were the most valuable football team on the list, worth $1.85 billion (tied for third with the New York Yankees).