The Blues are not a large market team, and they’ll never have a franchise valuation like that of the Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens.
But for a mid-market team, the Blues are doing ok. According to the St. Louis Business Journal’s analysis of Forbes’ 2016 NHL Valuations, their valuation has risen to $310 million dollars, up 14.8% and $40 million dollars from last year. Their overall value has grown from $130 million during the last year of Dave Checketts’ group’s tenure.
Regular season and post-season success has been helpful in raising the valuation of the team, now the 23rd most valuable in the league. A deep playoff run built some excitement up. Certainly, the Blues’ fanbase was disappointed by the exit against the Sharks, but after one of the best regular seasons and post-seasons in franchise history, even the traditional off-season disappointment doesn’t seem to be much of a factor in determining how much the Blues bring in.
Also heartening to see: the Blues turned a $3.2 million profit, the first time the team’s been profitable in about a decade. Last year it posted a loss of $7 million.
It’s difficult to imagine that the team’s off ice success doesn’t have a thing to do with their growing national profile. Each season sees more nationally broadcast games on NBC and NBCSN. This year, the Blues are hosting the Blackhawks at Busch Stadium for the Winter Classic. The team is mid-market, but it’s being pushed to a national audience.
It would be unfair to look at the team’s recent success without pointing out that they’re benefiting from the relocation of the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles. From October through April, they’re nearly the only game in town. When you couple that with the solidly St. Louis centric marketing push from the team plus a close association with the St. Louis Cardinals and the community as a whole, it’s easy to see why Tom Stillman is getting such a great return on his investment.