What is going rate for pro sports franchises these days? Prices will floor you

Even $1B might not buy a pro sports franchise anymore as prices go through roof

PJ Tucker #4, Chris Paul #3 and team owner Tilman Fertitta of the Houston Rockets celebrate after defeating the Golden State Warriors 122-121 in their NBA game at ORACLE Arena on October 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. Fertitta bought the Rockets for $2.2 billion last year. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

There is about to be a new co-champion for the highest purchase of a pro sports franchise, as hedge fund manager David Tepper has agreed to buy the NFL's Carolina Panthers for a hefty $2.2 billion

Believe it or not though, that only ties the largest purchase for a professional sports franchise ever. 

Last year, the Houston Rockets of the NBA also were sold for $2.2 billion to restaurant mogul Tilman Fertitta.

There are now four sports franchises that have been bought for at least $2 billion, which is more than the gross domestic product of economically underdeveloped countries (Rockets guard James Harden could probably buy a country or two with the $223 million contract extension he signed last year).

The Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA and the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball also each were bought for $2 billion. 

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer purchased the Clippers in 2014, while a group led by NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson bought the Dodgers in 2012. 

The moral of the story is that for any fans of a franchise who are frustrated with the franchise's current owner and are begging for a sale, there had better be a buyer with at least $2 billion in the bank to make their wish come true.