American football team tops list for second straight year

The Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League continue to reign as the world's most valuable sports franchise, according to an annual list released Wednesday by Forbes Magazine.

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The Cowboys lead the list for the second consecutive year, valued at $4.2 billion, up 5 percent from last year. Although the team hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1995, it continues to increase in value.

Boosted by the surprise play of a pair of rookies, running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott, the team went 13-3 last season but had its championship dreams dashed in its first playoff game.

The Cowboys are considered Super Bowl contenders for the foreseeable future.

Next on the list of sports and dollars was the New York Yankees baseball team, worth $3.7 billion, up 9 percent in value from last year when they were ranked fourth.

English soccer team Manchester United placed third, valued at $3.7 billion, up 11 percent, while Spanish soccer club Barcelona increased its value 2 percent to $3.6 billion in fourth place.

Real Madrid came in with $3.6 billion in value -- down 2 percent. The Spanish club previously topped the list three straight years before relinquishing its lead to the Cowboys last year.

The 2017 list of the top 50 most valuable sports franchises in the world was dominated by American teams including eight from Major League Baseball, seven from the NBA and 29 NFL teams.

"No sports league is as profitable as the NFL where the average team earned an operating profit of $91 million and no one banked less than $26 million," Forbes Magazine said.

The list also included seven European soccer teams.

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