Forbes: Massive Spike Vaults Warriors to Third Most Valuable NBA Franchise

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Forbes released its annual "The Business of Basketball" on Wednesday, and the numbers are staggering.

The Golden State Warriors are now worth an estimated $2.6 billion -- the third highest valuation in the NBA.

That number is 37 percent higher than last year when the Warriors received a valuation of $1.9 billion -- the sixth highest in the league.

Joe Lacob and Peter Guber's ownership group bought the franchise in 2010 for $450 million.

From Forbes:

"Two consecutive trips to the NBA finals and one title have done wonders for the Warriors. On its way to the best regular season record in NBA history, the team posted the league's highest average cable TV rating (9.76) during the 2015-16 season, more than double the previous season.

"The Warriors also secured a 20-year naming rights deal from Chase for their new arena, expected to open in 2019, worth as much as $300 million. The value of the Warriors is up a league-high 37% and the team could challenge the Lakers and Knicks for the NBA's highest revenue in their new arena, which broke ground in January.

"The Warriors grossed $10 million per game in gate receipts, before the NBA took their cut, during the NBA Finals. The season ticket waiting list was at 32,000 to start the current season with the renewal rate at 99.5% and only 23 seats not renewed during the offseason.

"The Warriors paid a luxury tax bill of $14.8 million for the 2015-16 season, but still posted the NBA's third-highest profits."

Only the New York Knicks ($3.3 billion) and Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion) were given higher price tags.

The Chicago Bulls ($2.5 billion), Boston Celtics ($2.2 billion) and Los Angeles Clippers ($2 billion) round out the Top 6.

The New Orleans Pelicans are last with a valuation of $750 million.

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