sumycin dosage of benadryl tadalafil 20mg kaufen cialis original de la india can you buy generic viagra in the us what is ospamox antibioticotibact mens health viagra lantus insulin pen can u shoot up baclofen super lavetra viagra red erythromycin no script thai pharmacy online noprescriptionneeded 5mg cialis flomax 0.4 mg daily bupropion hcl 150mg anafranil 10mg methadone drugstore europa love and other drugs online sa prevodom hydroxyzine hcl dosage drifent kind of viagra seroflo inhalers elavil side effects in elderly underground cialis tinidazole dosage in children tadafalil jelly uk minocycline uses std cialis professional master card flomax by mail female cialis samples levobiotic 500 mg viagra tablet canadian prices aviane side effects levonorgestrel westhroid medication what is amantadine poisoning ceftin side effects medication vitamix recipes for detox levitra side effects for women buy cialis online europe 247 overnightpharmacy com viagra online legitimate resources generic daily cialis viagra sell in canada levitra canada pharmacy online casodex withdrawal symptoms most effective generic viagra maxalt 10 mg cost us cheap viagra cozaar no prescription bupropion 300 mg no prescription buy methotrexate synthroid medication side effects benemid manufacturer generic viagra 100mg reviews canadian prescription viagra glucocorticoids buy uk pharmacy viagra echeck accepted achat cialis pour la suisse praziquantel for dogs doxycap tablets on sale buy cialis 100mg online digoxin toxicity treatment cataflam cost mebendazole antiox side effects where to buy viagra in toronto flazol 500mg tylenol levitra 100mg pills who sells pheromones and attraction paypal no prescription pharmacy proventil inhaler coupons 2014 where to buy triamterene hctz cefabiot cefuroxima presentacion buy cardizem clobex shampoo side effects zyban smoking weight loss purchae avapro buy elavil with overnight shipping finpecia kaufen lisinopril 20 mg picture pravastatin and grapefruit side effects buy otc antibiotics for dogs brahmi herb side effects pyridium for uti paxil side effects weight gain ramipril 5mg capsule lup lasixs medicine side effect pentrexyl 500mg side effects cialis 5mg dose lasuna garlic festival 2015 low cost cialis 20mg best indian viagra westhroid purchase brand cialis pills cipro antibiotic and alcoholciprobay cialis vs viagra levitra buy painkillers online no prescription anxiety attacks symptoms shaking hands siphene buy no prescription best levitra prices citalopram buy elomet cream mometasone furoate inhalation bystolic coupon with insurance card macrobid side effects medication lipitor and diabetes in men obestat reductil philippinesobetrol viagra reliable generic supply benicar lawsuits filed suhagra 100 discount los angeles citalopram online trustedtablets comprar xenical spain dostinex price mercury drugstore website viagra from canada by mail tri cyclen flonase coupons progesterone cream side effects in men yasmin aga khan bio zolpidem tartrate 5mg tablet doxinyl medication interaction sertraline 50mg tablets tadalafil on line fast delivery phenergan no prescription plendil medication frumil diuretic medications vigrx plus reviews ingredients buy benicar alendronate 70 mg tablets mebendazole cost at walmart zinoxime 500 million cheap kamagra supplier order domperidone from canada acquisto viagra con mastercard ativan side effects lorazepam viagra pill price carafate side effects medication medazole 200mg testosterone vitamix recipes book ocean fitness zofran odt 4mg for children caverta vs viagra phenegrin no script on line antibiotics online trusted sites zovirax acyclovir medication online proscar online ocgs zanzibar cipralex side effects hair loss accutane acne treatment side effects drug united pharmacies best way to use cialis etodolac 400 mg medication desogestrel ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol best india viagra and price glyset for sale cheap propecia achat en ligne oxybutynin chloride 5mg sa tab dapoxetina generico low cost comprare cialis in egitto viagura mastar card cytotec funciona de 6 meses lamisil pills for sale online clomid success rate cycle clomid 100mg terramycin antibiotic ophthalmic ointment suhagraat videos phizer viagra for sale losartan potassium 25mg side effects catafast 50mg tramadol zestoretic without script purchase letrozole lidoderm coupon patient assistance viagra preise ameriatrust canadian pharmacy flonase side effects medication viagra professional 100 mg generic cefovex 500 fast vimax reviews forum content marketing strategy viagra online pharmacy 150 mg piroxicam 20 mg for dogs otc tenormin antibiotics buy amoxil uk cheap viagra price lialda side effects mesalamine 400mg vigra for sale buy prednisone for dogs no prescription erectile 20 mg prezzo duloxetine hcl dalacin c 300mg capsule cheap kamagras from india tenormin medications avana at the rim apartments san antonio viamedic com veterans day images comprar fluoxetina online generic tri mix gel rxcanadian mall flazol 500mg vicodin pronil 30 pastillas cialis canandien get a prescription for reglan cialis 20mg malaysia prilosec coupon prilosec $5 coupon xeloda side effects treatment viagra for men in delhi price lexapro weight loss or weight gain shop viagra eltroxin side effects drug online pharma 24h proventil inhaler canada viagra soft tablet benazepril hydrochloride side effects in dogs buy viagara in nuremberg mesterolone 25mg viagra australia paypal budesonide side effects medication and alcohol betacin tablets for sale furosemide medication side effects in dogs alternative medicines for bactrim cheap viagra generic best price fast viagra shipping usa 33 drugstore hydroxyzine for dogs side effects letrozole vs clomid infertility buy viagra online without a credit card buy real viagra online no generics zetia coupons for copay is cymbalta over the counter unisom overdose medication promethazine codeine pills septrin antibiotic side effect buy viagra from usa pharmacy cialsis lowest price seroquel side effects seroquel lawsuit tegretol bipolar reviews torsemide dosage for adults order free birth control pills online indian pharmacy viagra prazosin minipress medication kemadrin medication indomethacin gout treatment side effects cost of valproic acid in uk buy la pela pills ic naproxen 500 mg side effects wellbutrin withdrawal how long cytotec abortion pill tablete de vanzare ieftine is there a generic for viagra cipla tadacip in usa metrotab 400 bad viagra hotline zetia cholesterol official viagra stanozolol steroids for inflammation viagra hindi i get penicillin from mexico tofranil medication allpills complaints against lawyers dove comprare cialis senza ricetta aciphex generic equivalent rx one phamercy cialis generika paypal buy leukeran 2mg benemid classification allegra d side effects erectile viagra 100mg price furosemide 20 mg tablet picture eutirox 50 dosage instructions antibiotics brand names cialis 20 mg directions best place to buy gernic cialis trazodone dosage for depression stanozolol steroids side avodart alternativen mircette generic birth control phenergan and pregnancy side effects adderall medication guide oracea side effects doxycycline dogs online generic cialis tadalafil cheap generic viagra online sinequanone definition of socialism cefadroxil 500mg uses azithromycin chlamydia protonix side effects hair loss viagra 2 tabletten online ohne rezept cialis generico dallindia viagra twice a day generic online pharmacy decadron dose for pediatrics xylocaine jelly 2 for hemorrhoids pharmacy online imovane 7.5 glucophage weight loss reviews viagra for men price in chennai dormidina information processing algodones pharmacy online zoloft side effects weight gain how much are viagra polls at mejiers spiriva coupons bayer binotal 1000 prednisone online canada natural viagra foods tadalafil 5 mg buy sildegra 100mg benadryl aldactone 25mg spironolactone pfizer pharmaceuticals careers omifin clomifeno viagra online worldwide shipping xatral 10mg medication viagra samples by mail dr reddy finasteride buy caffeine side effects heart racing stilnox side effects drug is viagra available otc in spain verified viagra retailers renagel medication doctor zineryt pret bactrim ds/septra ds side effects best site to purchase cialis in canada cockapoo rescue indiana order viagras online pay by e check how does viagra work after ejaculation schott suprax lantern jasmine tridevil photos buy avodart for hair loss online how often can you take viagra ventolin with viagra indocin side effects indomethacin avapro medication for high blood pressure genetic viagra using mastercard buy clamelle azithromycin 500mg tablets anafranil for ocd what is soviclor aciclovir ketazol venezuela news inexpensive acyclovir online pharmacy europe cialis canada free trial tadalafil without a prescription cleocin topical solution doxazosin mesylate side effects in women bupropion gastritis cheap pain pills no prescription avodart coupon purple pharmacy mexico drug list tofranil dosage micardis coupons farmacias canadienses online viagra 100 mg for sale retirides 0 1 cream tiendas la esquina famosa puerto rico famvir 500mg treatment famciclovir dosage coreg fpr cheap with no prescription furacin ointment where to buy best online levitra haloperidol side effects treatment sertraline medication levofloxacin antibiotic for sinus infection lipvas cipla share how does cialis work where can i buy flagyl over counter atacand candesartan cilexetil side effects sildenafil citrate sales in canada male erection pills reviews maxalt mlt 10mg side effects why does viagra cost so much spironolactone uses keppra 500mg for dogs with seizures buy online cialis 5mg albenza 200mg viagra sold in usa starlix nateglinide side effects doxazosin mesylate 1mg zyvox non prescription benazepril hcl 40mg antibiotics for sale on line purchase cialis for daily use online vytorin side effects adipex phentermine reviews and testimonials sotalol 80 mg twice a day betanoid syrup usa pharmacy no script pletal generics avapro 300 mg productos para una ereccion mas larga cialis montreal percocet 10 mg picture compra de viagra paroxetine hcl 20mg and yawning buy amitriptyline uk no prescription priligy dapoxetine fda 2014 drug omifin 50mg clomifeno amermycin capsule wardrobe how to buy pfizer viagra pills online desogestrel ethinyl estradiol reviews on apidexin pharmacy support difference between cialis and viagra baclofen tablets purchase on line tibolone livial 2.5mg tablets cost of cialis daily dose amantadine 100mg images leconfield estate petworth walgreens photo coupon codes 2015 reglan breastfeeding drug cialis tadalafil 20m original lamisil crema fucidin h ointment grisfulvin v no prescription best place to order generic cialis bayer levitra 20 mg for sale viagra vs cialis vs levitra prices misoprostol for abortion side effects cost of crestor at walgreens medication over counter like combivent viagra online greece buy synthroid levothyroxine online uk sore throat with clomid diane rehm show friday news roundup lotemax ointment for ocular rosacea norstan inc pleasant prairie wi map vermox dosage for adults piroxicam 20mg capsules feldene dutasteride hair loss avodart whats the difference between sotalol and sotalol af comprar pastilla cytotec de aborto losartan 50 mg tablets side effect benemid contraindications for ultrasound insulin side effects medication medrol dose pack side effects anxiety pheromones for women to women zyvoxid 600 mg gabapentin cost of viagra in kenya non generic prednisone online buy modafinil pakistan levothroid side effects levothyroxine 100 zoloft no perscription fast cuckold definition slang sialis tablets north harbour pharmacy propecia fanegada definition of socialism curacne wikipedia encuvarlix tadalafil 5 mg tablets generic viagra fast shipping female cialis 20mg nizagara for sale best prices on cialis esquina carlos gardel restaurant bystolic generic substitute terramycin for dogs ebay buying tadalafil online cialis over the counter in spain eriacta 100 frumil tabs for guitar supersaver meds cialis rezeptfrei mit mastercard best online pharmacies in india caffeine side effects heart octreotide drip gi bleed plendil and grapefruit juice fosamax osteonecrosis of the jaw aciphex side effects long term use generic cialis 2 5 where to get viagra cheap jr strength acetaminophen rapid tabs lamotrigine withdrawal symptoms rocket stove mass heater no prescription online pharmacy doctors plavix patent lisinopril 20 mg 12.5 mg viagra sales buy testosterone cream online ibuprofen vs acetaminophen for fever vantin antibiotic drug stanozolol tablets brand viagra online pharmacy buy doxycyclene cambodia lamotrigine lamictal side effects children tamsulosin 0.4mg capsules for men cheap accutane 10 mg januvia and pancreatic cancer risk can you get levitra cheap tretinoin cream 0.025 reviews for milia lexapro weight loss drug finasteride online kaufen vigria pills starlix 120 mg side effects dostinex for sale trustworthy online drug stores cytotec abortion cipla field erlamycetin ointment definitionescitalopram cialis kaufen gunstig order dutasteride online cytotec side effects on fetus mentat himalaya indinavir sulfate msds doxycycline shortage price vardenafil max dosage hot wire liquid water content generic methocarbamol no prescription buy progynova 2mg tabletspromethazine levitra generico orosolubile prezzo rogaine side effects rogaine reviews ramipril 10mg prices remeron for sleep reviews
Home Maury Brown Inside the Numbers: A 6-Year Look at the Forbes Valuations

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 430 guests online

Atom RSS

Inside the Numbers: A 6-Year Look at the Forbes Valuations PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
PoorBest 
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 27 April 2008 23:00
A Biz of Baseball Exclusive

Each year, Forbes magazine releases its valuation of the 30 clubs within Major League Baseball. And, each year, fans, analysts, and certainly owners, debate the figures with an intensity that might rival a Lou Pinella missed call meltdown. Owners, with some rare exceptions, will say that the valuations are a bunch of hooey (that’s putting it kindly). Of, course, when the numbers work in their favor, you can get someone like George Steinbrenner on record, as he did last year when he said, "I am gratified at the Forbes valuation of the Yankees. We are continuing to build a worldwide brand for the people of New York and Yankee fans everywhere."

Others, such as Marlins president David Samson, would say otherwise. "Every year I continue to be surprised at the absolute inaccuracy that a so-called reputable magazine is willing to print," Samson said after this year's valuations were released. As we will present, if David Samson thinks that the figures for the Marlins are way off, that doesn’t mean that the Marlins aren’t pulling in a decent profit; it just means that the figures may not be completely in-sync with their accounting methods.

How Forbes renders their figures is what differs from MLB’s. Asked why those within MLB continue to say that the Forbes valuations are off, senior editor, and co-author of the valuations Kurt Badenhausen offers up their methodology for the financial estimates of a private industry that guards their money matters vigorously.

“We have been doing this at Forbes for 11 years,” Badenhausen said. “We talk to teams, investment bankers, consultants and other baseball people to help estimate all revenue and expense items as well as the current values of the franchises. There are a lot of ways to calculate these numbers with various holding companies, media properties and other businesses.”

As a specific example on the how MLB’s figures and Forbes’ figures may differ, Bandernhausen cites one baseball’s more lucrative revenue streams: MLB Advanced Media, which includes MLB.com.

“We have MLB’s revenues at $5.5 billion for 2007,” adds Bandernhausen. “MLB says they are more like $6.075 billion, but they are including $450 million or so of MLBAM revenue (whereas each team only got $2 million last year) and from events like the All-Star game. We include non-baseball stadium revenues from things like concerts and other events for those teams that control their stadiums. On the other hand, we deduct interest payments on debt that teams incurred from building new stadiums. Those two things roughly offset each other. We only look at revenues and expenses that the teams incur and baseball has clearly never been healthier from a financial standpoint.”

Another example involves the Seattle Mariners.

As part of the agreement for public funding of Safeco Field, the Mariners are required to release a financial statement to the State of Washington. The Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD) owns Safeco, and their annual report shows that the Mariners made $17.8 million in profits.

Forbes lists the Mariners as posting operating income for 2007 at $10.1 million. Why the $7.1 million discrepancy?

“Our Mariners number is actually closer than the $7.7 million when you factor in depreciation, amortization, signing bonuses, non-ballpark expenditures and capital expenditures which we do,” explains Badenhausen. “I believe the number was closer to $15 million. Our operating income is an EBITDA number (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). The $5 million difference is based on different revenue and expense calculations and estimates.”

So, it’s clear that how valuation figures are calculated can be different. Thus, it’s not wholly untrue that MLB’s figures differ from Forbes, but then, it’s a matter of how the sides are calculating figures. As former MLB COO Paul Beeston said infamously, "I can turn a $4 million profit into a $2 million loss and I can get every national accounting firm to agree with me."

With the differences, I’m not about to quibble with the amounts, per se. The following is more of a look in trends in the valuations within MLB. Looking at the data historically can show us which clubs are valuating upward more thanInside the Forbes Valuations inflation – a sign that ownership is working to maximize the value of the franchise, a new stadium has come online, paying down debt, or other activities that will increase the value of their holdings, on top of the growth that MLB in general is witnessing.

In some instances, when coupled with total player payroll figures, they can show holes in the revenue-sharing system. Overall, the most obvious news is owners are making money, and lots of it. Using the overblown cliché, they are hitting the ball out of the park. There may be disparity between the amounts of revenue clubs are pulling in, but no owner could claim with a straight face that they aren’t making money these days. It’s just that some clubs are making more than others are. As Badenhausen rightly said, “After listening to baseball owners cry poverty for 25 years, the outcries have been relatively few the last couple of years because baseball is in what like Bud Selig likes to call a ‘Golden Age’.”

Select Read More to see a detailed breakdown of the Forbes figures

Before we delve into the historical trends over the last six years, here are some details based around the annual research by Michael Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen from this year’s valuations (see http://www.forbes.com/baseball/):

  • Total gross revenues for the 30 clubs has increased by 7.7 percent from last year to $5.5 billion (as opposed to the $6.075 billion reported by MLB)
  • The average team is now worth $472 million, 9.5 percent higher than last year and 143 percent more than when Forbes first calculated team values in 1998.
  • The increase in gross revenues has outpaced expenditures in player payroll. This year, 56 percent of revenues were spent on player payroll compared to 66 percent just five years ago.
  • Paid attendance continues to be a driving factor for the incredible increases for MLB. Within that, interleague continues to be exceptionally popular. Last year, interleague averaged 34,900 fans per game, 15 percent more than intraleague contests.
  • The Mets, currently ranked second with a value of $824 million, will also get a new stadium that should push their value close to $1 billion before long. Citigroup, beleaguered by the housing market meltdown, is still planning to pay the Amazins $400 million over 20 years for the stadium's naming rights.

Most Profitable Not Always the Most Valuable

As the thread worn cliché goes, you have to spend money to make money. But, in looking at the this year’s figures, you’ll find that in many cases, it’s not spending money that is allowing some teams that are cellar dwellers in the standings winning the profit game.

Using Forbes’ operating income figures, one measure of profitability, sees several unlikely clubs making more than their higher valued counterparts.

The most notable of these clubs are the Washington Nationals, and the Florida Marlins.

In terms of the Nationals, they are pulling profits based on a very good lease agreement, and new stadium, while in the midst of a rebuilding process with the roster. For the Marlins, it is a matter of setting the player payroll to levels that may redefine the word "stingy". The Marlins Opening Day payroll is at $20 million, a third less than what they spent on player payroll last year. To place it in perspective, that's $5 million less than what the club will receive in revenue-sharing, which is projected to be $25 million.

Below is the top 10 clubs by operating income for this year's Forbes valuations.

Forbes most profitable

 

Who's Making the Least, or "Losing" Money

A clear indication that MLB's financial state is extremely robust, five years ago the Forbes valuations showed 16 clubs with operating income in the red. This year sees 3 clubs, the Blue Jays ($1.8 million), Red Sox ($19.1 million), and Yankees ($47.3 million) posting "losses". In the case of the Yankees posting a considerable operating loss, it is due to their exceptionally high player payroll (a record $218.3 million), and dolling out the vast majority of all funds paid into revenue-sharing ($100 million).

Note, however, that "losses" are in quotes as all three of these clubs have significant stakes in Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) that contribute to their bottom lines, but skirt the edges of what is technically counted as club revenues. As reported by Ozanian and Badenhausen, "For the owners of the Yankees and Red Sox, the huge dividends they get from their unconsolidated cable networks more than make up for the teams' losses. Meanwhile Rogers Communications, which owns the Blue Jays, their stadium and the cable channel that televises its games, derives huge benefits from owning the Blue Jays not reflected on its team's [Profit & Lose] statement."

Below are the clubs showing the least amount of operating income, or in the case of the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Yankees, operating loss

 

Forbes least profitable

The Yankees Continue To Build an Empire

In the wake of the Red Sox winning two World Series championships in the last four years, some have said that the Red Sox, not the Yankees, are the new “Evil Empire.” While there is little discounting that the Red Sox are healthy in every respect financially, when compared to the Yankees, the Sox are still a distant second.

How far are they behind the Yankees? Consider the following: According to the Forbes valuations when accounting for inflation, the value of the Yankees in 2002 ($857,303,982.31) is greater than what the Red Sox are reported to be worth now ($816 million).

According to Ozanian and Badenhausen, “The Yankee brand (the portion of the team's value attributable to its name) alone is worth $241 million, almost as much as the entire Florida Marlins franchise.”

The value of the Yankees should hit $1.5 billion with the opening of new Yankee Stadium (see information on new Yankee Stadium here) in 2009.

Below shows how the Yankees value is compared to the Red Sox over the last six years (not adjusted for inflation)

Yankees Red Sox Valuations

Value of team based on values, such as current stadium deal (unless new stadium is pending) without deduction for debt (other than stadium debt).

An Angelic Rise in Value

In southern California, there are clear signs that in-part, private ownership has yielded better increases in value than under corporate ownership. Case in point, the incredible rise in value for the Angels.

Since Arte Moreno, the billboard advertiser magnate, purchased the club from the Walt Disney Co. in 2003 for $180 million, there has been a steady increase in the value of the club (see graph below, adjusted for inflation). While most all clubs have seen values increase above inflation, the Angels have climbed in value 48 percent during Moreno’s ownership tenure, when adjusting for inflation from approx $258.1 million to $500 million.

What has been amazing is that the Angels meteoric rise in value has come without a new stadium, or stadium related revenues such as new luxury suites. The Angels also have not seen lavish revenues from full or partial ownership of an RSN, such as the Red Sox or Yankees enjoy.

What Moreno has done is take lessons learned from his advertising background, and applied it to the Angels, most notably through the controversial renaming of the franchise to include the words “Los Angeles”, and gave Scouting and Player Development the flexibility to field competitive teams and sign key free agents.

"When Arte purchased the Angels, he did so with a short-term strategy and a long-term vision," said Angels spokesman, Tim Mead. "Located in the second biggest media market in the country, he emphasized we were a big-market club and would conduct ourselves accordingly."

Mead points out that Moreno's change in direction happened almost immediately.  With changes in branding of the color red, Angels Baseball, and the letter "A" that became focal points for the business side of the organization.   

"Our success is based on the fan experience at Angel Stadium, affordability of tickets, concessions and merchandising, as well as the expectations of our on-field product." 

The graph below outlines how the Angels have continued to climb in value by showing their ranking compared to the other 30 clubs since 2002.  

Angels Valuations

Below are the approx. values by way of Forbes, both non and inflation adjusted

Year
Rank
Value
Inflation Adj.
2002
23rd
$195M
$229,005,858
2003
20th
$225M
$258,044,462
2004
20th
$241M
$271,240,717
2005
17th
$294M
$320,320,585
2006
13th
$368M
$387,761,600
2007
13th
$431M
$431,000,000
2008
6th
$500M
$500,000,00

Are the Rockies Headed Back in the Right Direction?

There’s little denying that the surprise performance of last year’s season was the Colorado Rockies. Defying the odds, the team that hadn’t had a winning season since 2000, and was last seen in the playoffs in 1995, went all the way to the World Series last year before meeting up with the Red Sox and ending their Cinderella run.

The club was in need of the performance as the club has cycled down in value since being so successful after expanding into the league. At the end of March, the club renewed their naming rights deal with Coors Brewing for 10-years, and added in-stadium naming rights to two sections within the ballpark. The premium seats and lounge area behind home plate is now known as the Coors Clubhouse. The picnic area behind centerfield is called Coors Field Picnic Area. The financial terms were not released, but it is bound to continue pulling the Rockies out of their recent valuation slide.

How badly were the winning and naming rights deals needed? Looking at the 6-year set of Forbes data sees the Rockies as the club that has increased in value the least. In fact, the Yankees have increased in value 24 times as much as the team from Colorado.

While the raw figures show an increase in valuation from 2002 to 2008 for the Rockies, when adjusting for inflation, the Rockies are actually worth less today than in 2002 dollars (see image and graph below)

Forbes Rockies

Year
Value
Inflation Adj.
2002
$347M
$408M
2003
$304M
$349M
2004
$285M
$321M
2005
$290M
$316M
2006
$298M
$314M
2007
$317M
$317M
2008
$371M
$371

Bottom Feeders

South Florida has the dubious distinction of being home to not one, but two of the least valuable franchises over the course of the past six years. Both the Marlins and Rays have been in the bottom five in value every year, and to make matters worse, they have ranked at 29th or 30th more than any other clubs. The Marlins have been 29th or 30th three times (30th in 2007 and 2008, and 29th in 2003) while the Rays hold the “very bottom” rankings five times (30th in 2005 and 2006, and 29th in 2007 and 2008).

 The now Tampa Bay Rays (the word "Devil" has been removed, and a complete team rebranding has taken place with both uniforms and logos), have also set eyes on redeveloping Al Lang Field in downtown St. Petersburg. To offset costs, the land (85 acres) where Tropicana Field is located would be redeveloped as a major retail, entertainment, and housing development. (See renderings of the proposed open-air Rays facility and other details, like you see in the image to the right)

In the case of the Marlins, their value has remained low, in part, due to playing in Dolphin Stadium, a substandard facility, and one in which they do not control the revenue streams as former Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga owns the facility. That may change as the Marlins are close to landing funding for a retractable roof stadium on the site of the former Orange Bowl (see renderings of one proposed design). Nevertheless, one of the primary reasons that the Marlins continue slice margins by setting the aforementioned player payroll so exceedingly low. To place this in perspective, the largest increase in value occurred the year after the Marlins won the World Series in 2003. The value increased 26 percent the year after in 2004 but has since declined in each consecutive year.

See graph showing percent of change from the year prior for both the Marlins and Rays:

Year
Marlins
Rays
Value
% of Increase
From Year
Prior
Value
% of Increase
From Year
Prior
2002
$137M
N/A
$142M
1%
2003
$136M
-1%
$145M
2%
2004
$172M
26%
$152M
2%
2005
$206M
19%
$176M
16%
2006
$226M
10%
$209M
19%
2007
$244M
8%
$267M
28%
2008
$256M
5%
$290M
8%

Other Points of Interest

  • Unsurprisingly, the Yankees have been the most valuable of all the franchises during the course of the six years examined.
  • The Mets and Red Sox have jockeyed back and forth in the #2 ranking, with the Red Sox holding the distinction in consecutive years (2004-2006) and the Mets holding the honors in 2002-2003 and 2007-2008.
  • The largest increases in value from 2007 to 2008: Rockies (17%); Nationals, Angels and White Sox (16%); Brewers (15%); Indians, Tigers, and Twins (14%); and Rangers and Red Sox (13%)
  • Largest increase in value for a given year: 114 percent when the then MLB owned Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals were relocated to D.C. in 2005.
  • Largest figures for operating income over the six-year period: Washington Nationals ($43.7 million in 2008), Florida Marlins ($43.3 million, 2007 and $35.6 million in 2008), Cleveland Indians ($34.6 million in 2006) and Baltimore Orioles ($34 million in 2006)
  • Years by clubs reporting a loss by way of operating income (NOTE: Forbes’ 2003 figures shows more than half the league running at a loss): 2008 (3) – Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, 2007 (1) – Yankees, 2006 (5) – Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Marlins, Angels. 2005 (10) – Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Mariners, Cardinals, Angels, Rockies, D-Backs, Twins, 2004 (14) – Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Braves, Cardinals, Rangers, Phillies, D-Backs, Angels, Pirates, Marlins, Twins, Expos, 2003 (16) – Red Sox, Dodgers, Rangers, Indians, Astros, Cardinals, D-Backs, Phillies, Tigers, Angels, Pirates, Brewers, Blue Jays, Royals, Marlins, Expos, 2002 (10) – Red Sox, Dodgers, Indians, Rangers, D-Backs, Cardinals, White Sox, Blue Jays, Devil Rays, Expos
  • Largest reported figures for operating at a loss: Yankees (-$50 million in 2006, -$47.3 million in 2008, and $-37.1 million in 2005), Angels (-$30 million in 2005) and Dodgers ($-29.6 million in 2002)

League Averages, By Year

The following shows the average value, 1-year change, debt/value ratio, revenues, and operating income for the league by year of the study. 

League Avgs.: 2002 - 2008
Year
Value
1-Yr Value Change (%)
Debt/
Value
(%)
Rev
($mil)
Op Income ($mil)
2002
$286.3M
11
39.3
119.5
2.5
2003
$290.5M
3
N/A
N/A
-1.3
2004
$292.1M
8.24
43.1
129.3
-1.9
2005
$332M
14.5
39.7
142.3
4.42
2006
376.5
14.9
33.5
157.8
12.06
2007
431.5
14.8
35.2
170.4
16.52
2008
471.6
9.21
32.7
150.4
16.41

Conclusions

The obvious finding in looking at the Forbes figures is that all the clubs are in a healthy state these days. Valuations continue to climb, and fewer and fewer clubs are operating under what Forbes sees as operating loss.

What the figures also show is that often times, the clubs that have cried poverty in the past, or said that they would be unable to compete in the free agency market without considerable assistance by way of revenue-sharing, are, in fact, pulling in healthy profits.

And while one can shrug off that issue by saying all the clubs are making more money, there are signs that the most valuable are growing at a rate faster than their mid-to-low level counterparts. In other words, there is an increasing disparity in valuation.

That would make sense; larger market clubs such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, and White Sox should be in a position to increase their values by way of RSNs, more lucrative sponsorship deals, and increased brand recognition. The good news is that during Selig's tenure, the institution of revenue-sharing, and to a larger extent, the introduction of the Wild Card has allowed more parity in terms of the standings than ever before.

Finally, as mentioned at the outset, Forbes and MLB may come to different figures each year. However, it is clear that until MLB decides to open their books to the public, the Forbes valuations paint a clear picture in terms of trends in the industry. In 2008, when it comes to MLB, business is good.


References:

  • All data referenced, Forbes 
  • NOTE: Use the following link to see all data used for the historical references (2002-2008)
  • Revenues and operating income are for a given season and include revenue sharing.
  • "Value" - Value of team for a given year based on current stadium deal (unless new stadium is pending), without deduction for debt (other than stadium debt).
  • "% of Change" - Current team value compared with most recent transaction.
  • "Debt/Value" - Includes stadium debt.
  • "Operating Income" - earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation.
  • "N/A" - not applicable.

Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?