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The Seattle Mariners posted a record $23.3 million profit last season, according to the club's annual report to the Public Facilities District that oversees Safeco Field stadium operations. The report, which is not yet online, was obtained by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As reported by the Seattle PI:
The report, obtained Friday by the Seattle P-I, also indicates a record $32.6 million in the "special calculation" accounting category agreed to between the PFD and Mariners to determine the amount of income accumulated before the franchise begins sharing profits with the PFD.
An increase in national revenues, received in the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, is part of the reason the team was able to raise payroll to a record $111 million for the upcoming season despite attendance dropping to 2.48 million, the lowest total since 1995.
"It's unusual for the bottom line to come out so high," said Kevin Callan, executive director of the PFD. "But Major League Baseball is in great financial position and all the sources of revenues are strong, outside of local ticket sales. Baseball is in a good place right now."
The article reports that part of the windfall was due to the $450 million sale of the Washington Nationals to the Lerner family. The article implies that all 30 clubs split the $450 million sale, which is incorrect. While the sale of the club was $450 million, not all the proceeds were split between the 29 Clubs. Of the $450 million, only $100 million was distributed with the rest reportedly placed in a "labor fund". What was the final take home for the 29 owners after the sale to the Lerners? $3.448 million per club.