Nuggets president Josh Kroenke, on the set of The Sports Show on October 6, 2015 at The Denver Post. (Photo By Brent Lewis/The Denver Post) 495w, 560w, 596w" sizes="(max-width: 495px) 100vw, 495px" />

Nuggets president Josh Kroenke, on the set of The Sports Show on October 6, 2015 at The Denver Post. (Photo By Brent Lewis/The Denver Post)

The Nuggets rank 21st on Forbes list of most valuable NBA franchises.

The list, released on Wednesday, is an annual look at the value of NBA teams. The Nuggets are valued at $855 million, according to Forbes. Team revenue is $140 million while operating expenses check in at $26 million.

“The Nuggets had the sharpest year-over-year decline in average local television ratings (50%), and had the fourth-smallest average audience size on Altitude (13,000) last season,” Forbes wrote. “Fans aren’t coming to the arena either. Average attendance of 14,700 ranked third worst in the NBA, and it is last halfway through the 2015-16 season.”

Forbes lists Nuggets fans as among the least engaged in the NBA. This is how they complied the list.

“To compile this list we collected the following fan engagement metrics: hometown crowd reach (defined by Nielsen Scarborough as a percentage of the metropolitan area population that watched, attended, and/or listened to a game in the last year), three years worth of television ratings (from Nielsen), three years of arena attendance based on capacity reached (from the league), three years worth of merchandise sales (from the league), secondary market ticket demand and premium pricing (from Vivid Seats), and social media reach (a combination of Facebook fans and Twitter followers as a percentage of the team’s metro area population).”

A drop in television ratings is just one reason why Nuggets fans are ranked fourth on the list of least engaged in the league. Low attendance crops up there again as well. But a lack of attendance isn’t because the Nuggets haven’t tried, said Forbes.

“The gradual decline in attendance at the Pepsi Center is a direct result of on-court disappointment,” Forbest said. “To fill seats again the Kroenke family invested in arena upgrades to improve the fan experience, adding one of the nation’s largest indoor HD video boards, upgrading to a state-of the art sound system, installing a new 3D court projection system, and extending access to free Wi-Fi to all fans.

“To further appeal to a younger audience, the Nuggets shifted more than half of their marketing dollars into the digital space. It introduced Student Pass, the mobile based ticketing system, to campuses across the state to offer $15 tickets to college students to nearly a third of (their) home games.”

Follow Chris Dempsey on Twitter @dempseypost or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Browse photography at Denver.Gallery.