How Much Are The Red Wings Really Worth?

A Deep Dive into Value & Historical Numbers

Detroit Red Wings Valuation

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Detroit Red Wings

Forbes Estimated Value in 2019

$775 Million. Estimated team value 2017.

$625 Million. Estimated team worth in 2016.

$8.5 million. Purchase price when Mike Ilitch bought the Detroit Red Wings in 1982.

8. Red Wings are now the eighth-most valuable team in the NHL behind:

detroit red wings value

Per Game Revenue

41. Home games per year played by Red Wings, like all other NHL teams.

$55 Million. After the lockout shortened 2012-13 season saw the numbers cut almost in half, the annual gate receipts returned to pre-lockout levels of $55 million for the 2013-14 season.

$44 Million. Average gate receipts over the next three years as the team struggled on the ice and at the gate.

$66 Million. The Red Wings moved to their new home at Little Caesars Arena and have been selling out home games ever since. Gate receipts reached $66 million for the 2017-18 season

$68 Million. Gate receipts for the 2018-19 season.

$1.65 Million. Divided by 41 games, that works out to more than $1.65 million in ticket sales per home game.

$183 Million. Total revenue Red Wings reported in 2019. This includes revenue from things like the team’s Club Sponsorship deal with MGM Resorts, its marketing deal with Chevrolet, and presenting sponsor deals with companies like Coca-Cola and Amway.

$4.46 Million. Estimate of total revenue per home game.

Red Wings franchise history
(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

TV Deal

10. Years on media rights deal signed by NHL and the NBC Sports Group in 2011. It expires after the 2020-21 season. NBC is the exclusive network home of the NHL and NBC Sports Network (Formerly Versus) is the cable home of the league.

$200 Million. Value of media rights deal signed in 2011

$30 Million. Amount FOX Sports Detroit reportedly pays the team per year for broadcast rights. Detroit Red Wings games air in the Detroit area on FOX Sports Detroit. FOX Bet sportsbook is also open for Red Wings betting in Michigan.

Red Wings Ticket Prices

$33-$120. Range of ticket prices for the team’s last season at Joe Louis Arena.

$30-$109. Price range of tickets the season before that last season.

$240-$330. A big hike came in when the team moved into Little Caesars Arena for the 2017-18 season. The team classified center ice lower bowl tickets as premium club seats and started charging from $240-$330 each.

$100-$130. Price in 2017/18 of lower bowl tickets not in center ice area

$33-$95. Price of lower bowl tickets season before.

$65-$98. Price range mezzanine tickets jumped to in 2017/18.

$126. Price for tickets in another club level that was added (included parking).

$3,500-$8,500. Cost of private suites at Red Wings games at Little Caesars Arena.

Average. These are considered average prices for NHL tickets as the Red Wings are not in the top 10 for either the most expensive or least expensive tickets on the secondary market.

$??-$??? Ticket prices will reportedly increase again for the 2020-21 season, when fans are allowed to return to the arena, despite the Red Wings posting the worst record in the league in 2019-20.

detroit red wings per game revenue
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Red Wings Salaries

$79,969,005. According to CapFriendly.com, the Red Wings paid out $79,969,005 in player salaries for the 2019-20 season.

$10 million. Amount that went to players that did not play.

$6,083,333. The team paid Henrik Zetterberg $6,083,333 in salary even though a back injury forced him to all but retire in 2018.

$3,954,545. They also paid Johan Franzen $3,954,545 in salary, even though post-concussion syndrome meant his time with the team ended in the 2015-16 season.

1. The 2019-20 season was Franzen’s last under contract with the team, but Zetterberg will get his $6,083,333 salary for one more year.

5. Years of contract Dylan Larkin, the Wings’ top paid player, signed in 2018

$6.1 Million. Larkin’s average salary per year

87. Larkin’s player rating on NHL2020 video game

$1.4 Million. Amount earned by second-leading scorer, Tyler Bertuzzi, for the 2019-20 season. Bertuzzi will get a significant raise heading into the 2020-21 season as a restricted free agent.

detroit red wings player salaries
(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

 

Arena Deals + Timeline

Detroit Olympia

1927. Year they started playing at the Detroit Olympia arena, when they were known as the Detroit Falcons.

$2.5 Million. Cost to build Detroit Olympia, which opened on October 15, 1927.

1932. Year the Falcons became the Red Wings.

1979. Year they continued to play until at what was also known as Olympia Stadium and The Old Red Barn.

1980. Year Detroit Olympia closed (February)

1987. Year Detroit Olympia was demolished (September)

Joe Louis Arena

1979. Year the Red Wings moved into Joe Louis Arena in Downtown Detroit on the banks of the Detroit River.

$57 million. Cost to build Joe Louis arena. The facility was owned by the city of Detroit, but operated by Olympia Entertainment, a subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, Red Wings’ owner Mike Illitch’s company.

2017. Joe Louis Arena was home to the Red Wings until the 2017–18 NHL season. It closed in July 2017.

35. Number of octopuses thrown on the ice at final Red Wings game at Joe Louis.

2020. Demolition of Joe Louis arena completed in the summer of 2020.

detroit red wings joe louis arena cost
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Little Caesars Arena

2015. Construction on Little Caesars Arena began in April 2015.

2017. Arena opened on Sept. 5 at the start of the 2017–18 NHL season. Little Caesars Arena is connected to surrounding offices and shops and is the centerpiece of The District Detroit sports and entertainment district also encompassing Ford Field and Comerica Park. The arena is owned by Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority. The land is leased to Olympia Entertainment for free and Olympia has operational control. Revenues are shared between the company and the City of Detroit.

$862.9 Million. Cost to build Little Caesars Arena.

60% Approximate cost funded by public tax dollars.

2017. Year the Detroit Pistons also moved to Little Caesars Arena for the 2017–18 NBA season. Olympia Entertainment and Palace Sports & Entertainment formed an entertainment bookings and event management company for events at Little Caesars Arena and The Palace at Auburn Hills as a part of the agreement.

19,515. Capacity of Little Caesars Arena for hockey. The Red Wings have continued to sell out since moving to Little Caesars.

$40 Million. New revenue in the team’s first year at Little Caesars Arena for the 2017-18 NHL season.

108-110. Sections allocated to the MotorCity Casino Club, the largest private club at Little Caesars Arena.

2645. Address of Little Caesars Arena on Woodward Avenue, Detroit.

10. Years on the arena naming-rights deal announced in 2016.  Little Caesars Pizza, the pizza chain also owned by the Ilitch family, acquired the naming rights to the arena in 2016, before it opened. In April 2016 they announced it would be called Little Caesars Arena and a Little Caesars logo would be on the roof.

$120 Million. Value of the naming-rights deal.

$3 Billion. Annual revenue for Little Caesars Pizza, the pizza chain Ilitch and his wife Marian founded in Garden City in 1959. It’s now the third-largest pizza chain in the US behind Pizza Hut and Dominos.

little caesars arena cost
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Practice Facilities And Other Expenses

$0. The Red Wings are debt free since they built the new Little Caesars Arena as a part of a public-private partnership. The team also avoided the added cost of building and maintaining a practice facility by building a practice and training facility inside Little Caesars Arena.

$?. While most pro sports teams charter or lease planes from airlines, the Red Wings have their own airplane they use to fly to road games. It’s called Red Bird III. It is owned by the Ilitch family and the Wings share the plane with the Detroit Tigers MLB team, who are also owned by the Ilitch family.

 

On-Ice Performance

49. Number of losses Red Wings posted in 2019-20 season over 71 games before the season was halted due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

5. Number of overtime losses.

17. Number of wins posted in 2019-20 season

31. Red Wings final spot in 2019-2020 NHL standings.

29. Red Wings final position in season before

11. Number of Stanley Cup wins in franchise history, giving them more championships than any other US-based NHL team and putting them behind only the Montreal Canadiens (24) and Toronto Maple Leafs (13) in terms of titles.

2008. Red Wings’ last Stanley Cup win came in the 2007-08 season when star Henrik Zetterberg scored the winning goal in Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He walked away with the Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL Playoffs MVP.

10. Number of years later a back injury ended Zetterberg’s NHL career

4. Number of Stanley Cups won between 1950-1955 (Gordie Howe era)

3. Number of Stanley Cups won between 1997-2002 (Steve Yzerman era)

detroit red wings valuation
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Who Owns the Detroit Red Wings?

1932. James E. Norris bought the Detroit Falcons and the Detroit Olympia arena out of receivership for an undisclosed sum in 1932. He renamed the team the Detroit Red Wings.

1952. Year James died. Son Bruce and daughter Marguerite inherited the Red Wings.

1955. Bruce bought out Marguerite for an undisclosed sum to become sole owner.

1982. Year Mike Ilitch bought the team from Norris for $8.5 million

2017. Year of Ilitch’s death. His son Christopher took over as CEO while wife Marian remains owner of Ilitch Holdings.

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