The Seattle Mariners should be your sleeper team, at least when it comes to pulling in revenues and profits.
With the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD) owning Safeco Field, the Mariners are required to submit a financial report each year to the state. That filing was released Monday to the PFD. As reported by MLB.com:
An 88-win season and second-place finish in the division helped boost home attendance by nearly 200,000 to 2.67 million, and that played a significant role in the organization, registering a $17.8 million profit for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2007, according to the team's annual financial report.
The Mariners enjoy an incredible regional following. Their television territory alone covers a huge swath of the Pacific Northwest. As Mariners president, Chuck Armstrong said to me in a 2006 interview here on The Biz of Baseball:
“While we don’t have that many people in our market, we have the largest territory in terms of square miles. We have Washington, Oregon (although we share the six most southern counties with the A’s and the Giants), teams, we have Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and then as against all other U.S.British Columbia and Alberta. Getting that cable contract increased our reach and made fans in Montana, Oregon, Alberta, and British Columbia, and Alaska of course. We turned them into Mariner fans.”
And, the profit figure that the Mariners are showing this year is not the largest for the club. 2006 has that distinction due to the one-time payment to all 30 clubs after the sale of the Montreal Expos to the Lerner group, where they become the Washington Nationals. Total profits to date for the Mariners since 2001, the first full season that the Mariners were in Safeco Field, come to just under $98 million.
SEATTLE MARINERS PROFIT BY YEAR:
| Year|| Profit |
| 2001|| $15.47 million|
| 2002|| $10.72 million|
| 2003|| $13.6 million|
| 2004|| $8.5 million|
| 2005|| $8.3 million|
| 2006|| $23.3 million|
| 2007|| $17.8 million|
| TOTAL|| $97.69 million|
From Various Sources