The 20 richest controlling owners of teams in major sports leagues around the world have a combined net worth of $426 billion, up 60% during what has been a record year for billionaire wealth.


It has been an ascendant 12 months for India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani. His cricket team, the Mumbai Indians, were Indian Premier League champions for the second year in a row. And off the field, shares of his multinational conglomerate, Reliance Industries, rose more than 85% over the last 12 months—helping more than double Ambani’s net worth to $84.5 billion.

That’s enough to make Ambani the world’s richest sports team owner. He surpasses last year’s No. 1, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, for the top spot.

Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, has also seen his fortune grow, although not enough to keep up with Ambani. His net worth is now $68.7 billion, according to Forbes, up from $52.7 billion a year ago.

The bar for entry onto the list of the richest sports team owners has gotten dramatically higher since early 2020, amid what has been a record year for billionaire wealth. The top 20 billionaire controlling owners of teams in major sports leagues now have a combined net worth of $427 billion, up from $266 billion last year, according to Forbes. That’s a 60% increase over the past 12 months—even though many sports arenas and stadiums have remained mostly empty amid the pandemic.

Of course, Covid-19 hasn’t curbed fans’ appetite or stopped major deals from happening. Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, for example, finally won approval from Major League Baseball for his roughly $2.4 billion purchase of the New York Mets in October 2020. That deal has earned Cohen a spot on the list of the world’s richest sports team owners for the first time.

Another notable newcomer: billionaire Home Depot cofounder Arthur Blank. After stepping down as co-chairman of the retail giant in 2001, he purchased the Atlanta Falcons football team the following year for $545 million (now worth nearly $1.9 billion net of debt, according to Forbes’ estimates). Blank also brought professional soccer to the city with his Major League Soccer team Atlanta United FC, which played its inaugural season in 2017.

The biggest gainer on the list this year—in both dollar and percentage terms—is, by far, Dan Gilbert, the billionaire mortgage tycoon and owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s worth an estimated $51.9 billion, a nearly 700% increase from last year thanks to the company he cofounded in 1985, Quicken Loans. Now the largest mortgage lender in the United States, Quicken went public as Rocket Companies at a massive $36 billion valuation in August 2020, catapulting Gilbert up the ranks of the world’s richest billionaires.

Here are the 20 richest sports team owners; net worths are as of March 5, 2021.

#1 | Mukesh Ambani


MUMBAI INDIANS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: DIVERSIFIED

NET WORTH: $84.5 BILLION (1-YEAR CHANGE: +130%)

#2 | Steve Ballmer


LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: MICROSOFT

NET WORTH: $68.7 BILLION (+30%)

#3 | Daniel Gilbert


CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: QUICKEN LOANS

NET WORTH: $51.9 BILLION (+699%)

#4 | François Pinault & family


STADE RENNAIS FC

SOURCE OF WEALTH: LUXURY GOODS

NET WORTH: $42.3 BILLION (+57%)

#5 | Dietrich Mateschitz


NEW YORK RED BULLS, RED BULL RACING

SOURCE OF WEALTH: RED BULL

NET WORTH: $26.9 BILLION (+63%)

#6 | Robert Pera


MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

SOURCE OF WEALTH: WIRELESS NETWORKING GEAR

NET WORTH: $18.3 BILLION (+161%)

#7 | Steve Cohen


NEW YORK METS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: HEDGE FUNDS

NET WORTH: $16 BILLION (+15%)

#8 (tie)| Roman Abramovich


CHELSEA FC

SOURCE OF WEALTH: STEEL, INVESTMENTS

NET WORTH: $14.5 BILLION (+28%)

#8 (tie) | David Tepper


CAROLINA PANTHERS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: HEDGE FUNDS

NET WORTH: $14.5 BILLION (+21%)

#10 | Joseph Tsai


BROOKLYN NETS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: E-COMMERCE

NET WORTH: $11.6 BILLION (+16%)

#11 | Philip Anschutz


LOS ANGELES KINGS, LA GALAXY

SOURCE OF WEALTH: INVESTMENTS

NET WORTH: $10.1 BILLION (-8%)

#12 | Jerry Jones


DALLAS COWBOYS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: COWBOYS

NET WORTH: $8.9 BILLION (+11%)

#13 | Hasso Plattner & family


SAN JOSE SHARKS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: SOFTWARE

NET WORTH: $8.3 BILLION (-33%)

#14 | Stanley Kroenke


ARSENAL, LOS ANGELES RAMS, DENVER NUGGETS, COLORADO AVALANCHE, COLORADO RAPIDS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: SPORTS, REAL ESTATE

NET WORTH: $8.2 BILLION (-18%)

#15 | Shahid Khan


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: AUTO PARTS

NET WORTH: $8 BILLION (+3%)

#16 | Rocco Commisso


ACF FIORENTINA

SOURCE OF WEALTH: TELECOM

NET WORTH: $7.2 BILLION (+60%)

#17 | Stephen Ross


MIAMI DOLPHINS

SOURCE OF WEALTH: REAL ESTATE

NET WORTH: $7 BILLION (-8%)

#18 | Robert Kraft


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: PATRIOTS

NET WORTH: $6.9 BILLION (+0%)

#19 (tie) | Dmitry Rybolovlev


FC MONACO

SOURCE OF WEALTH: FERTILIZER

NET WORTH: $6.7 BILLION (+2%)

#19 (tie) | Micky Arison


MIAMI HEAT

SOURCE OF WEALTH: CARNIVAL CRUISES

NET WORTH: $6.7 BILLION (+31%)

#21 | Arthur Blank


ATLANTA FALCONS, ATLANTA UNITED FC

SOURCE OF WEALTH: HOME DEPOT

NET WORTH: $6.2 BILLION (+35%)

Italian billionaire Rocco Commisso, owner of soccer team ACF Fiorentina, was added to the list at #16. That bumped Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, to #21 on the list.