Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Whoa: Rays value surges to $451 million

Whoa.  Despite the attendence troubles and stadium frustrations, it's been a good year to own the Tampa Bay Rays.  Or any MLB team, in fact.

According to the latest Forbes franchise rankings, the Rays are now worth $451 million, or 40% more than last year and 256% more than when Stu Sternberg bought the team in 2005.  The team's estimated revenues were $167 million and it's estimated operating income was $10 million.

But it's not just the Rays killin' it;  Forbes estimates the average MLB team is now worth $744 million, up 23% in the last year alone.  The publication chalks the success up to ballooning television revenues, the league's investment fund, and "climbing values of Major League Baseball Advanced Media."  The soaring values even negated a 9% drop in operating income for the league.

The Yankees dominate the rankings for a 16th straight year ($2.3 billion value) while the Marlins made another huge gain (to $520 million, from $450 million last year and $360 million in 2011).  And despite the Rays' huge value jump, they were still the lowest-valued MLB franchise.

That solidifies three theories:
  1. You can profit drawing 19,000 fans per game even without a playoff appearance....just not as much as MLB and its owners may like.
  2. Stu Sternberg is likely to be an even richer man if - and when - he ever decides to sell the Rays.
  3. Tampa Bay doesn't have an attendance or a revenue problem; it has a problem with MLB not sharing enough with small-market teams.


  1. Theories 1 and 2 are known to everyone.
    Theory 3 is absurd.

    The key issue with any signifcant economic driver in the Region isn't some narrow thing you define, with you extensive academic background in Regional Economics. The key issue is the same for every major organization, and really ought to extend to as many small organization's too. How do we best leverage our limited government resources to permit private investor's to successfully channel their monies in ways which improve our local economy and enhance the quality of life in the Region?
    These are dynamic questions which progressive leaders embrace and seek to answer.

    Noah, I'm not sure how you see your role in the community. You are pouring a lot of labor into this blog and your other reporting work. It is the hope of many of your readers, me among them, that you do what we want our elected and hired leaders to do: endeavor to ask better questions and shine the light and hold feet to the fire, all in a quest to improve the region.

    "Journalists" who think their role is just to be a critic. Or to shape their reporting thru the narrow funnel of their own viewpoints are selling themselves and their audiences short.

    My hope for you, brother, is that you may continue to raise your game. The Region of tomorrow could use an even better you.

  2. Does this blog not push people to ask better questions, shine the light on the complete picture, and provide important watchdog information?

    1. This blog is anti St. Pete.

      <3 Shadow of the Stadium

    2. James, I believe if you followed more, you'd change your mind.