What’s Wayne Gretzky’s net worth?
Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian-born professional hockey player who is now an entrepreneur and has a net worth in excess of $250 million. It is not always easy to be the “greatest” in the sports world. Each new season brings a new champion. There have been athletes who have held a sport’s dominance for such a long time that they are truly the “greatest.” There are few people who have redefined what is possible in their chosen sport, including Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Kelly Slater. Wayne Gretzky is the person who can change hockey’s future.
He was a former NHL player from Brantford Ontario Canada. He started skating at the age of three and was playing against ten-year olds in Canada when he turned six. Because his skill was so superior to the rest of the children, he had to leave his home to continue his playing. In 1978, he joined the World Hockey Association. After it was disbanded, he moved to NHL and played for the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings and the St. Louis Blues before finally joining the New York Rangers. He set numerous records over the course of his 21-year career as a hockey player. He also won multiple awards including the NHL’s most valuable player award, the highest point total in NHL history, and the distinction of being the only NHL player with more than 200 points per season (he did this four times). He was also awarded nine Hart Trophies, 10 Art Ross Trophies for Most Points, and two Conn-Smythe Trophies for Playoff MVP. He was the head coach for the Phoenix Coyotes and served as the Canadian National Hockey Team’s executive director during their 2002 Olympic performance. Wayne launched a successful entrepreneurial career, which we will discuss later. His success, endorsement deals and business ventures have all made Wayne quite wealthy, including the co-ownership of a restaurant and a successful line of sports equipment.
Wayne Gretzky made $46 million as NHL salary during his NHL career. In endorsements, Gretzky earned $50 million more during his playing days. After inflation adjustment, his total earnings were approximately $150 million. He was a wise investor and built an empire that includes vineyard ownership, sports team ownership, and real estate ventures.
Career Starts and Early Life
Wayne Douglas Gretzky was conceived in Brantford (Ontario) on January 26, 1961. Gretzky is the son of three brothers and one sister. Walter, Gretzky’s father, taught him and his siblings how to play hockey in their backyard. Gretzky was a natural talent from an early age. Gretzky was already playing in a hockey team that included 10 year-olds at age 6. He continued to draw attention as he grew older. He was often booed by his parents and other players for his excellent performance on the ice.
His parents helped him to move to Toronto to play hockey. This was partly to help him in his career and also to escape the negative environment of his hometown. His parents challenged the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to allow him to play in different areas. He was eventually allowed to play Junior B hockey for the Toronto Nationals and earned Rookie of The Year in the Metro Junior B Hockey League 1975-76 season. In the 1977 Ontario Major Junior Hockey League draft, he was drafted to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, when he was 16.
Professional Hockey Career
Gretzky, then 17, signed a personal services contract worth $1.75million USD for seven years with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1978. Gretzky had to sign a WHA contract instead of the NHL because the NHL didn’t allow signing players younger than 20 years old. Before being traded to Edmonton Oilers, he only played for the Racers for a brief time. His team was part of the NHL’s first expansion in 1979 after the WHA collapsed. He played a key role in their four Stanley Cup wins.
In his very first NHL season, he was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. He continued to shine and became the first NHL player to surpass the 200-point mark. He was also traded twice more, playing for the Los Angeles Kings (1988-1996) and the St. Louis Blues (1696). He signed a $2 million USD contract with the New York Rangers in 1996 as a free agent.
In 1999, he retired from professional hockey while playing for the New York Rangers. Gretzky won nine Hart Trophies, ten Art Ross Trophies, five Lester B. Pearson awards and two Conn-Smythe Trophies as playoff’s MVP over the course of his professional career. After his retirement, he was inducted immediately into the NHL Hall of Fame. He held an incredible 61 records when he retired from NHL. He was also the league’s only to have his #99 jersey retired, and was the only one to do so.
After Gretzky’s playing career ended, he became a manager and was appointed the executive director for the Canadian National Men’s Hockey Team at the 2002 Winter Olympics. In partnership with Steven Ellman, he purchased a 10% share in the NHL team Phoenix Coyotes in May 2000. From October 2005 to September 2009, he became the team’s coach. He was elected vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group in 2016.
Business Ventures and Endorsements
Gretzky is a professional athlete who has also invested heavily in ownership of sports teams. Gretzky bought the Hull Olympiques team from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for $175,000CAD in 1985 and then sold them for $550,000CAD in 1992. Bruce McNall bought the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League in 1991. Gretzky, along with John Candy, was a minority owner. They eventually sold the team to Gretzky in 1994. Gretzky teamed up with McNall once more to purchase a rare Honus Wagner T206 card for $451,000 USD. He sold it later. Gretzky is also a partner in First Team Sports, a manufacturer of sports equipment, and Worldwide Roller Hockey, Inc.
Gretzky also enjoyed lucrative endorsement deals throughout his professional hockey career. Gretzky was one of the five highest-paid athletes endorsers in North America by 1995. This was due to his endorsement deals with global brands such as Coca-Cola and Domino’s Pizza, Sharp Corporation, Upper Deck Company, and Sharp Corporation. Gretzky also partnered with Andrew Peller Ltd. in 2017 to launch Wayne Gretzky Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ontario). There are also restaurants like No. 99 Gretzky’s Wine & Whiskey at Edmonton International Airport opened in 2016. Studio 99 at Rogers Place opened in Edmonton, Canada in 2018.
Gretzky met Janet Jones as a judge for the television series “Dance Fever”. He began their relationship in 1987 and proposed to Janet Jones in January 1988. The couple were married in July 1988. The Canadian press called their wedding, which cost him more than $1 million USD, “The Royal Wedding”. The couple have five children together: three boys and two girls. Paulina Gretzky (a singer and model) is in a relationship since 2013 with Dustin Johnson, a professional golfer. They have two children together.
Wayne bought a large Beverly Hills property in Beverly Park, shortly after he had moved to the LA Kings in the 1980s. A few years later, he sold his house to Eric Smidt, a billionaire (not the Google billionaire Eric Schmidt). Smidt purchased the vacant lot adjacent to his house for $3 million, and the entire estate was sold for $40 million in 2014.
Wayne Gretzky and his wife built a custom-built mansion in Thousand Oaks, California. It was located within a gated country community. Wayne Gretzky’s Thousand Oaks home is 10,815 sq. It is situated on 6.5 acres in the exclusive Sherwood Country Club community. Richard Landry, a renowned architect, designed Wayne Gretzky’s home in close collaboration with him. The house has hardwood floors, plaster detailing and an open floor plan. It also features a kitchen with state-of the-art appliances, a home theater, outdoor wood-burning pizza oven, and pool. Six bedrooms and seven and a quarter bathrooms are found in the main house. A guest house has a gym and a sunken tennis court.
In 2014, the Gretzkys sold their house to Lenny Dykstra, a former baseball player who was claiming himself as a financial expert. The price? $18.5 million.
Lenny’s status as a guru was also destroyed one year later when the real estate market crashed. Lenny attempted to sell the house at $18.5 million in what may have been the most difficult time to sell a house. After declaring bankruptcy, Leny lowered the house’s price several times before it was finally lost in foreclosure. He was also arrested for fraud. Wayne and Janet Gretzky bought the house again in 2018 for $13.5million to bring it all back around.
Janet and Wayne listed the coveted property on October 20, 2020 for $22.9 Million.