This is a tough time in the world of sports. The recession has taken its toll, with many venues having difficulty selling tickets. And both the NBA and NFL are facing the possibility of lockouts in 2011. However, for some team owners, life is still pretty good. There are still many owners who are worth a fortune (and we're not counting celebrity sports owners like Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Estefan). Here are some of the wealthiest team owners in pro sports, with all wealth estimates courtesy of Forbes. (For more, check out Sports CEOs: For Better Or For Worse.)
IN PICTURES: Top 5 Super Bowl Host Cities

Paul Allen
The Microsoft co-founder is a multi-sport titan: he owns the Seattle Seahawks football team, the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and is part of a group of owners of the Seattle Sounders, a Major League Soccer team. His net worth is estimated at more than $12 billion, according to Forbes. Though he may be the wealthiest football team owner, he's certainly not the NFL's only billionaire owner. In fact, half of all NFL owners are in the billionaire's club.

Stephen Ross
Ross, a former lawyer who made his fortune in real estate, is relatively new to the world of sports ownership. A native of southern Florida, Ross bought a 50% share of the Miami Dolphins and their home, Sun Life Stadium, in 2008. A year later, he increased his share to 95%. He is worth an estimated $3.1 billion.

Stanley Kroenke
Kroenke became principal owner of the St. Louis Rams earlier this year, but like Allen, he doesn't limit himself to just one sport. He has also served as owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Avalanche (when he took over ownership of the Rams, he transferred his interests in the Nuggets and Avalanche to his son). His estimated worth is $2.7 billion, much of it from real estate investments. He is married to Ann Walton, an heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune.

IN PICTURES: Celebrities With Big Dreams That Paid Off

Jerry Jones
The owner of the Dallas Cowboys is one the most recognizable and high-profile NFL team owners (he is also very active, serving on numerous NFL committees). Worth around $2 billion, Jones isn't afraid to write big checks to support his team, as proven by the team's mega-modern (and mega-expensive) new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Mark Cuban
The extroverted owner of the Dallas Mavericks initially made his fortune in technology, partly by launching companies he then sold to corporations like Yahoo! and CompuServe. Cuban, chairman of cable network HDNet and owner of Landmark Theatres, continues to support tech companies - he recently invested in an online security software company called BlueCava, and his net worth is estimated to be around $2.4 billion.

John Henry
Comparatively speaking, baseball is short on wealthy owners. Two of the richest owners in recent history - the Yankees' George Steinbrenner and Carl Pohlad of the Minnesota Twins - passed away within the last two years. Red Sox owner John Henry, who made a fortune in the futures market before entering the sports market, is likely one of the richest baseball owners right now. In 2009, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.1 billion - although, as head of a hedge fund company, his fortune is thought to have taken a hit as a result of the recession. He also heads up a sports investment group that recently bought the Liverpool soccer team.

The Bottom Line
Fans may not be filling the seats as much as usual this year, and lockouts loom on the horizon. But for a few lucky team owners whose fortunes continue to grow, life is like one endless championship season. (For more on the business of sports, see Who's Cashing In On Pro Sports Revenue?)

For the latest financial news, see Water Cooler Finance: Ghosts Of Economies Past.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Top 3 Most Successful African Entrepreneurs

    Discover the educational backgrounds and entrepreneurial ventures of some of the most successful and well-known African entrepreneurs.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    How to Find Mutual Funds With High Dividends

    Learn about the important factors to consider when looking for mutual funds that pay high dividends, including how they may impact your taxes.
  3. Investing Basics

    6 Investing Mistakes That the Ultra Wealthy Don't Make

    Understand what ultra-high-net-worth individuals are and how they invest. Learn about the six key investment mistakes that the ultra wealthy avoid.
  4. Personal Finance

    Money Matters on Campus: Attitudes & Aptitudes

    Financial trends among college students are a cause for concern, prompting a renewed emphasis on financial instruction.
  5. Stock Analysis

    This Is What Carl Icahn's Portfolio Looks Like

    Read about some of the holdings in Carl Icahn's portfolio. Learn about his activist campaigns against companies that he believes are performing poorly.
  6. Professionals

    What Millionaires Fear the Most

    How much is enough? Millionaires feel major stress over this question.
  7. Professionals

    Career Advice: Investment Banking Vs. Wealth Management

    Take a comparative look at two of the most popular career choices in the financial sector, wealth management and investment banking.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    Top 3 Most Successful French Entrepreneurs

    Learn about some of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs who either hail from France or have chosen to relocate to France as their home.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Top 6 Most Successful European Entrepreneurs

    Understand what makes European entrepreneurs successful. Learn about six European entrepreneurs who have found great success in terms of their net worth.
  10. Insurance

    Warren Buffett: The Road To Riches

    Find out how he went from selling soft drinks to buying up companies and making billions of dollars.
  1. Why is the Cayman Islands considered a tax haven?

    The Cayman Islands is one of the most well-known tax havens in the world. Unlike most countries, the Cayman Islands does ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is Andorra considered a tax haven?

    Andorra is one of many locations around the globe considered a tax haven because of its relatively lenient tax laws. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Under what circumstances would I require private wealth management?

    An investor who is a high-net-worth individual (HNWI) may require private wealth management services. HNWIs have unique financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Which US cities have the highest number of high-income households?

    According to the most recent U.S. Census report on the geographic concentration of high-income households conducted in 2 ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why is Manchester United (MANU) carrying so much debt?

    The takeover of Manchester United by the Glazer family beginning in 2005 saddled the historic club with substantial amounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are Manchester United's (MANU) largest revenue sources?

    Manchester United is one of the most popular U.K. soccer teams. Its principal stadium is Old Trafford, located in the heart ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!