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Detailed Financial Info from Pirates, Rays, Marlins, Angels, and Mariners Sees Light of Day PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 23 August 2010 03:06

The Biz of BaseballLast night, sensitive financial information from 2007 and 2008 was leaked regarding the Pittsburgh Pirates detailing how MLB’s club with the lowest payroll has profited, its revenue-sharing figures, and details around television, concession, ticket revenues, and more.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Today, Deadspin released, not only the Pirates documents, but the financials from Rays, Marlins, Angels, and Mariners (separate posting) painting a picture that shows clubs at the low and middle level of player payroll spending are, for the most part, pulling a profit.

The documents that detail 2007 and 2008 for the Pirates, Mariners, Rays, Pirates and 2008, 2009 for the Marlins and Angels are, simply by volume, the largest collection of sensitive financial documents that have ever been released to the public during the Selig tenure; maybe ever. Another club’s information is also in-hand, but due to it not being in PDF format, the details are slated to be released separately.

With the exceptional amount of information within each club’s document, The Biz of Baseball will be dedicating several articles – one for each club’s documents – over the course of the next few days. This initial report will detail key like revenues that are rarely available.

For every year in the documents, Operating Income (sometimes called Operating Profit), a form of earnings before tax and interest, for each of the clubs, with the Mariners in 2008 the lone exception, shows them running in the black. It should be noted that this figure does not show a true level of profit as there are long-term liabilities and investments, but it is a solid measure. The club with the most operating income has also been one of MLB’s longest running receiver of revenue-sharing, the Florida Marlins. The club, which received $47,982,000 in revenue-sharing in 2008 is shown to have an operating income of $39,214,000 (the following year dips dramatically due to new stadium investment).

Below is the Operating Income for each year and club in the available documents released today:

Operating Income

Year

Club

Amount

2008

Pirates

$14,408,249

2007

Pirates

$16,197,554

2009

Angels

$11,926,000

2008

Angels

$11,254,000

2009

Marlins

$12,677,000

2008

Marlins

$39,214,000

2008

Rays

$14,202,206

2007

Rays

$21,687,569

2008

Mariners

($7,672,000)

2007

Mariners

$13,765,000

 

Digging deeper, Net Income , which calculates  revenues and adjusting for the cost of doing business, depreciation, interest, taxes and other expenses, and therefore, gives more weight to "true profit" (minus long term debt) breaks down as follows:

Net Income
Year Club Amount
2008 Pirates $14,408,249
2007 Pirates $15,008,032
2009 Angels $10,732,000
2008 Angels $7,088,000
2009 Marlins $3,900,000
2008 Marlins $29,462,000
2008 Rays $4,016,163
2007 Rays $11,066,191
2008 Mariners ($4,533,000)
2007 Mariners $17,864,000

 

Based on the revenue sharing system, 3 of the 5 clubs in the Deadspin document release were receivers (payees) of revenue-sharing (Marlins, Pirates, Rays), while the Mariners and Angels were payors. Below is a breakdown of the revenue-sharing figures:

Revenue Sharing

Year

Club

Amount (+/-)

2009

Angels

($16,402,000)

2008

Angels

($14,747,000)

2008

Rays

$35,345,277

2007

Rays

$39,380,713

2009

Marlins

$43,973,000

2008

Marlins

$47,982,000

2008

Pirates

$39,046,312

2009

Pirates

$30,302,652

2008

Mariners

($16,174,000)

2007

Mariners

($8,284,000)

 

Since the Angels and the Rays both made the playoffs during the period of the documents, a rare look at how much clubs can make is outlined. It should be noted that how much a club makes is not based on revenues for each postseason game played at the home team’s ballpark. The following shows revenues that go to the players are broken out for postseason play (see the Major League Rule for added details):

  • Sixty percent of the total gate receipts from the first four World Series games;
  • Sixty percent of the total gate receipts from the first four games of each League Championship Series; and
  • Sixty percent of the total gate receipts from the first three games of each Division Series.
  • Based upon this, ownership profits are 100 percent for any games after that are “deciding”.

Angels postseason revenue

Year

Amount

Div Gms

ALCS

Total

2009

$12,122,000

2

3

5

2008

$4,374,000

2

 

2

 

Rays postseason revenue

Year

Amount

Div Gms

ALCS

WS

Total

2008

$17,674,301

2

2

2

6

 

Television and radio revenues are also within the documents, and with it, how MLB’s television territories are defined (see the map here) has a large bearing on the amounts that a club can pull in with rights contracts. Based on the TV territories map, notice the size of the area that the Mariners claim, then look at the listing below, and it’s obvious why the club pulls in the largest amount of the clubs in the Deadspin documents.

Broadcasting

Club

TV and Radio

Year

Marlins

$16,716,000

2009

Marlins

$15,900,000

2008

Pirates

$39,007,164

2008

Pirates

$40,326,222

2007

Rays

$13,444,475

2008

Rays

$12,885,996

2007

Mariner

$64,365,000

2008

Mariner

$60,182,000

2007

Angels

$45,998,000

2009

Angels

$42,967,000

2008

 

There’s always been a conversation by fans that concessions must be a cash cow for clubs given the cost to fans, but in looking at the Deadspin financial docs, that does not seem to be the case. With clubs hiring concessionaires, such as ARAMARK to handle equipment and associated costs, clubs get a cut of the profits. While averaging total attendance against total revenues is not a perfect method of showing per cap, it does allow an “apples to apples” comparison of the clubs. The most interesting aspect? Look at the bounce the Rays got in 2008:

Concessions

Year

Club

Revenues

Attendance

Avg. Per

2008

Pirates

$8,283,870

1,609,076

$5.15

2007

Pirates

$7,142,641

1,749,142

$4.08

2009

Marlins

$2,582,000

1,577,853

$1.64

2008

Marlins

$2,268,000

1,335,075

$1.70

2007

Mariners

$13,519,000

2,672,485

$5.06

2008

Mariners

$11,240,000

2,329,702

$4.82

2009

Angels

$15,593,000

3,240,374

$4.81

2008

Angels

$16,516,000

3,336,744

$4.95

2008

Rays *

$9,551,348

1,780,791

$5.36

2007

Rays *

$3,410,472

1,387,603

$2.46

* Includes parking revenue

Finally, the way that the CBA is structured, clubs receiving revenue-sharing do not have to allocate all of what is received and use it against Major League payroll. The clause within the Agreement is designed to have flexibility for funneling some (or presumably, all) of it towards player development . So, how do the Marlins, Rays, and Pirates stack up against the Mariners and Angels? The answer is, it’s not easy to completely define. Remember, while the Deadspin documents show an incredible amount of information, the manner in which clubs classify costs isn’t always described, or itemized the same. As an example, the Angels breakout Minor League Operations and Scouting. The Marlins have “Baseball Operations and Administration” with amateur draft bonuses broken out. For the Rays, “Scouting, Player Development, and operation of farm clubs” is all rolled into one. So, those looking at the table below may see something that should be added or subtracted. We’ll see if any clubs (or the league) contacts us over them. If so, adjustments could be made. But, based on the initial question around whether low revenue makers invest more in player development, the answer appears to be, yes.

Player Development

Year

Club

Amount

2007

Pirates

$21,166,850

2008

Pirates

$23,182,677

2007

Rays

$21,900,693

2008

Rays

$20,017,186

2007

Mariners

$14,013,000

2008

Mariners

$15,534,000

2008

Angels *

$16,339,000

2009

Angels *

$19,293,000

2008

Marlins **

$29,970,000

2009

Marlins **

$30,024,000

 

* Angels


2009

2008

Minor Ops

$8,031,000

$8,087,000

Scouting

$11,262,000

$8,252,000

TOTAL

$19,293,000

$16,339,000

 

** Marlins

 

2009

2008

Ops Admin

$24,806,000

$23,646,000

Bonuses

$5,218,000

$6,324,000

TOTAL

$30,024,000

$29,970,000

 

There is certainly more to these docs. As mentioned, there is enough for articles for each one (e.g. how much did the Marlins get to write off on stadium development in 2009? $6,055,000). Of more interest will be how the league reacts to the documents becoming public. This story will have far reaching implications. For now, here are the documents, minus the Mariners. Here is a separate post for the Mariners, with another club forthcoming.

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Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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