April 23, 2007


Baseball's Big Bucks (Kurt Badenhausen, Michael K. Ozanian and Christina Settimi 04.19.07, Forbes)

Baseball games can turn quickly with one swing of the bat. Baseball's finances can change quickly too.

Three years ago, the 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams posted an operating loss (in the sense of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $57 million. Last season, they earned a record $496 million. [...]

Three years ago, MLB, which owned the Montreal Expos, couldn't find a buyer for the team. Two years after the team moved to Washington, D.C., the Nationals, as the team is now known, were bought for $450 million by Theodore Lerner and his family. Buyers have been lining up to bid for the Cubs (the team will be put on the block after the pending sale of Tribune is finalized), who haven't won the World Series in a century and have not even played in one in three generations. Look for the buyer to be a Chicagoan that will pay around $600 million, or perhaps as much as $900 million if Tribune's interest in WGN and Comcast SportsNet are also part of the deal, surpassing the then-record $700 million John Henry's group paid for the Red Sox and 80% of NESN five years ago.

How quickly the game has changed.

The relative labor peace that Bud Selig has brought about and a resulting stretch without walkouts or lockouts has been a real boon, though too late for the Expos...

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 23, 2007 6:58 AM
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