Forbes released its annual report appraising the value of Major League Baseball teams. When you look at the overall figures for the league as a whole, they sound good- the league earned a net revenue of $5.8 billion, an increase of 5.5% from 2008. On average, the book value of each franchise increased by 1%, to $482 million, an all-time high.
However, not all is rosy. Although the overall league numbers increased, the figures were heavily influenced by the increases from the top money teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox. There were actually nine teams in the major leagues whose average value decreased. Unfortunately, the Giants were one of them.
The San Francisco Giants fell 5% in value, to $471 million…It just is not the same without Barry Bonds coming to the plate at AT&T Park. Attendance dipped 11% during the Giants’ first Bonds-less season since 1992. The California economy has been particularly hard hit and as a result the prices of PSLs at AT&T Park have fallen about 60% over the past three years.
So the drop in value roughly corresponds to the estimated $20 million the Giants would have had to pay to keep Bonds. Overall, Giants revenue in 2008 was $196 million, with the operating income at $22.4 million. This was based on a stated payroll of $104 million and gate receipts of $74 million. So at least, the Giants are still making money, and a decent amount of it.
The Giants now rank ninth in the major leagues in value. Compared to other teams in the divison, the Giants ranked a distant second. The Dodgers, ranked 4th overall, were valued at $722 million. Behind the Giants in the NL West were the Padres at $401 million (16th overall), Diamondbacks ($390 million, 19th) , and then the Rockies ($373 million, 20th).
The top five were: Yankees ($1.5 billion), Mets ($912 million), Red Sox ($833 million), Dodgers, and Cubs ($722 million).
(correction: that should have been $722 million for the Dodgers)
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This post was written by Hank on May 15, 2009