Colorado Rockies: Forbes Names Rockies Latest Billion-Dollar Franchise

The Colorado Rockies are the latest franchise to crack the billion dollar mark, according to Forbes Magazine’s latest MLB franchise valuations list.

The Rockies are one of eight teams which have never won a World Series. Of those teams, the Rockies are the most valuable, even though Colorado is one of the youngest franchises in the League. The only one the franchise appeared in was in 2007 against the Boston Red Sox where they were quickly swept out.

Despite six consecutive sub-.500 seasons and finishing last in the NL West three times, the business side of the Rockies improved in 2016. The team’s rating on Root Rocky Mountain increased 3.1 points since 2015, and attendance rose by 2.5 percent. The Rockies are fortunate to play in one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., but that’s not enough to grow the team’s overall value.

A brief history

The MLB Expansion Committee granted Colorado a franchise in June of 1991. By April of 1993, the franchise played its first regular season game, a 3-0 loss to Dwight Gooden and the New York Mets. The team finished 67-95 that year, the most wins by one of the expansion teams from the 1990’s in their first season.

Between 1995 and 1997, Rockies fans experienced three consecutive winning seasons. In 1995, the team drafted a player that would put the franchise on the map, Todd Helton. He debuted in 1997, beginning nine consecutive sub-.500 seasons.

Before retiring after the 2013 season, Helton won the Silver Slugger award four consecutive times beginning in 2001. That year, Helton slashed .372/.698/.1.162 with 42 home runs and 147 RBI’s.

The franchise is 1789-2045 in their 25 seasons. They have only won one pennant, and appeared in the playoffs three times. Currently, the Rockies have no hall-of-famers elected to Cooperstown, though Helton makes a strong case to be the first.

Young Money

Currently, there are only 10 players on the Rockies that are younger than the franchise.  Eight of those 10 players are starters such as Nolan Arenado, Tony Wolters, and Trevor Story. Colorado has the youngest pitching staff in the league with an average age of 23.7-years-old, and are the third-youngest team with an overall average age of 27.2. Every pitcher in the Rockies starting-5 is 26-years-old or younger, and only two, Tyler Anderson and Tyler Chatwood, have any Major League experience at all.

Even though the Rockies are the latest billion dollar franchise, the team is still the eighth least valuable franchise in the league. Teams like the New York Yankees ($3.7B), Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.75B), Boston Red Sox ($2.7B) and Chicago Cubs ($2.675B) lead the way. The average team is worth just over $1.2 billion, marking the Rockies recent success a sign of progress. If the franchise can muster a few more NL West pennants and World Series appearances, this valuation is surely on the rise.

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