Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/28/13
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Over the last decade, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has turned his New England franchise into one of the most valuable sports commodities in the world. The sixth-most valuable, to be exact. In this year’s ranking of the world’s most valuable sports teams, released by Forbes on Monday, the Pats come in valued at an estimated $1.4 billion, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for sixth place on the list. Manchester United ($3.1 billion) tops the list, becoming the first sports franchise to be valued at over $3 billion, while the Yankees and Cowboys ($1.85 billion) represent the highest-ranked American squads, tying for No. 3 overall. Forbes calls the Patriots — which rank third among NFL teams behind Dallas and Washington ($1.45 billion) — “one of the NFL’s best-run teams on and off the field,” and notes the fact that every New England home game has sold out since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002. If the rankings prove anything, it’s that football — both American and international — really is king. NFL and European soccer teams occupy 26 of the top 30 spots, with all 32 NFL franchise coming in inside the top 50. Boston franchises fared well overall, with all four major professional teams ranking in the top five in their respective sports. The Red Sox trailed only the Yankees and Dodgers while the Celtics ($730 million) ranked fourth in the NBA and the Bruins ($349 million) came in at fifth in the NHL rankings.
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