Minnesota Twins have increased in value more than any other pro sports franchise since 2000

Categories: Twins
target field rect.jpg
Target Field has made Twins ownership richer and fans more comfortable as they watch the team lose.
-- Strangers at the Twins game: A blind don't-call-it-a-date in their own tweets
-- Twins payroll: Why in Gardy's name is it being slashed?

Don't let this season's on-field product fool you -- the past dozen years have been very good for the Minnesota Twins.

According to a new study by Business Insider, since 2000, the Twins have increased in value more than any other major American professional sports franchise -- from $91 million to $510 million, a whopping 460 percent increase.

Much of that increase, obviously, is due to Target Field. Think about it -- $51 million is less than one-third the value of Joe Mauer's $184 contract all by itself!

Of course, having all that extra dough didn't keep Twins management from slashing payroll by about $15 million heading into this season. And with the Twins experiencing by far the largest 2011-to-2012 attendance decline of any MLB team, it looks like the franchise's value has nowhere to go but down for the foreseeable future.

Business Insider's top 18 list is dominated by MLB and NFL teams. In fact, only one NHL or NBA team -- the Vancouver Canucks -- cracks the list, and they rank 18th.

Here's the top 10 franchises that have gained the most value since 2000, along with a reason for each of their respective increases.
Not all the teams on the list are big winners.

10. Chicago Bears (massively renovated stadium)
9. Boston Red Sox (East Coast media bias)
8. Philadelphia Eagles (believe it or not, Vikings fans, but Donovan McNabb didn't hurt)
7. Miami Marlins (new stadium)
6. Chicago White Sox (well, Obama's a fan)
5. Chicago Cubs (would've been higher if not for Steve Bartman)
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (their owner is Magic... Johnson)
3. Philadelphia Phillies (it's not just about new stadiums... winning helps too)
2. Washington Nationals (moved from Montreal to D.C.)
1. Twinkies (clearly, all that money I've spent on tickets hasn't gone for naught)

To see the full list, click here.

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