Texas Rangers Valued at $764 Million; 8th on Forbes List

New York Yankees topped Forbes’ annual valuation of Major League Baseball teams with a net worth of $2.3 billion.

The average baseball team is now worth $744 million, 23% more than a year ago, the business magazine said, adding that it was the “largest increase since we began tracking MLB finances in 1998.”

The surge in values comes from “escalating television rights fees that flow to each team, and the climbing values of Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the league’s investment fund,” Forbes said.

MLBAM, baseball’s highly profitable, fast-growing digital arm, was another big contributor. It generated an estimated $650 million in revenue last year, the report said, but could be worth over $6 billion if you give it a similar enterprise value-sales ratio as Facebook.

In the 2012 season, revenue (net of stadium debt service) rose 7%, to an average of $227 million per team. But operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) fell 9%, to $13.1 million for teams, apparently because of higher player costs and stadium expenses.

Following is a snapshot of some teams on the Forbes list, along with their rankings and excerpted comments from Forbes:

1. New York Yankees
Current Value: $2,300 mil.
Revenue 2012: $471 mil.
Operating Income 2012: $1.4 mil.
“The Yankees sold some of their interest in the YES Network as part of Fox's purchase of 49% of the regional sport network in late 2012 and as part of the deal the team's rights fee from YES will increase from $85 million this season to $350 million in 2042.”

3. Boston Red Sox
Current Value: $1,312 mill.
Revenue 2012: $336 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $23.9 mill.
“Fenway Park was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for a $39.4 million tax credit and an equal amount from the state.”

5. Philadelphia Phillies
Current Value: $893 mill.
Revenue 2012: $279 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $0.6 mill.
“The Phillies are in the process of negotiating a new local television deal with CSN Philadelphia that could be worth twice as much as their present deal with the network.”

6. New York Mets
Current Value: $811 mill.
Revenue 2012: $232 mill.
Operating Income 2012: -$2.4 mill.
“In late 2012, SportsNet New York, the regional sports network 65% owned by the Mets, refinanced $450 million of debt, providing the cash-strapped team with some badly needed breathing room.”

8. Texas Rangers
Current Value: $764 mill.
Revenue 2012: $239 mill.
Operating Income 2012: -$8.7 mill.
“The Rangers scored at the box office in 2012, drawing 3.46 million to the Ballpark in Arlington, third-most in baseball and the first time in franchise history the team surpassed 3 million.”

14. Washington Nationals
Current Value: $631 mill.
Revenue 2012: $225 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $28.4 mill.
“On the way to making the postseason for the first time in their history, the Nationals drew 2.37 million fans to Nationals Park last season, up 22% from 2011.”

15. Atlanta Braves
Current Value: $629 mill.
Revenue 2012: $225 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $12.4 mill.
“Despite making the playoffs and a 14% reduction in non-premium ticket prices last season, the Braves attendance fell for the second straight year.”

16. Houston Astros
Current Value: $626 mill.
Revenue 2012: $196 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $24.7 mill.
“Beginning this season the Astros' new television deal with Comcast SportsNet Houston will pay the team an average of $80 million a year in rights fees over the next 20 years.”

17. Baltimore Orioles
Current Value: $618 mill.
Revenue 2012: $206 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $30.1 mill.
“Last season attendance at Camden Yards jumped 21%, to an average of 26,600 per game, the most since 2007, and the Orioles averaged a 4.75 rating on MASN/MASN2, 42% higher than 2011.”

26. Miami Marlins
Current Value: $520 mill.
Revenue 2012: $195 mill.
Operating Income 2012: -$7.1 mill.
“The Marlins' first year in their new stadium was a disaster as they posted a 69-93 record (last in the NL East) and attendance averaged 27,400 per home game, 18th in baseball.”

27. Pittsburgh Pirates
Current Value: $479 mill.
Revenue 2012: $178 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $26.8 mill.
“The Pirates posted their 20th consecutive losing season in 2012 but have some of the best young players in baseball, like outfielder Andrew McCutchen.”

30. Tampa Bay Rays
Current Value: $451 mill.
Revenue 2012: $167 mill.
Operating Income 2012: $10.0 mill.
“The Rays have won 90 or more games in four of the past five seasons despite one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.”

Check out the full Forbes list here.

Posted in and tagged with .

Why Open a Browser, get citybizlist in your InBox.