When Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber paid $450 million for the Golden State Warriors back in 2010, many thought they overpaid substantially for one of the NBA’s more downtrodden franchises.
The Warriors, after all, had just two winning seasons in the past 16 years up until that point, and while they’ve managed to retain one of the more passionate fan bases in the league, the location of the team in Oakland didn’t seem to be all that appealing to those observing from the outside.
It’s amazing how quickly perceptions can change. And with new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive forced to sell his minority share in the Warriors, the franchise’s valuation has nearly doubled in just three short years.
Less than three years after the two agreed to pay the highest price ever for an NBA franchise, the team is now valued at $800 million, according to a source with knowledge of the terms.
The new valuation comes from the price Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mark Stevens agreed to pay for a share of the team that was made available when former partner Vivek Ranadive had to sell it to buy the Sacramento Kings in May.
In a way, Ranadive’s agreement to pay about $550 million for 72 percent of the Kings and their existing arena helped his old partners sell their stake for even more. The $800 million number is still surprising, given that Forbes magazine valued the Warriors in January at $555 million. Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder declined to comment on the new valuation or the percentage that Stevens bought.
Franchise valuations are a tricky thing, because all you can do is estimate what the price tag might be, based on what other franchises have sold for in recent transactions.
What can never be truly accounted for, however. is what someone might be willing to pay for even a share in an NBA franchise under the right set of circumstances. In the case of the Warriors, they’ve quite suddenly become one of the more attractive teams to buy into, and their current value is now reflective of that.