Earlier this week, Bloomberg News published the results of their nine-month investigation into the value of each Major League Baseball team. They posted their findings in an excellent interactive tool, which is worth a few minutes of your time. As expected, the New York Yankees ranked first with a total value of $3.28 billion (yes, you read that right – billion). The west coast Goliaths, the Los Angeles Dodgers, came in second by landing around $2.1 billion. Based on Bloomberg’s calculations, the average MLB team is worth $1 billion. Yet, only ten teams are actually valued at $1 billion or over. Here are the ten teams whose fingers are on the scale and driving up the average team worth.
|New York Yankees||$3.28B|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||$2.10B|
|Boston Red Sox||$2.06B|
|New York Mets||$2.05B|
|San Francisco Giants||$1.23B|
|Los Angeles Angels||$1.09B|
A team’s “total value” was determined by combining four elements. First is the “team value”, which is the team’s baseball related activities. Second is “regional sports network”, or the team’s stake of their regional cable TV network. Then there is “related business”, which comes from teams owning real estate, radio stations, food, merchandise, etc. And finally there is “MLB advanced media”. Simply, each team owns 3.33% of the revenue that MLB makes off of their Internet and mobile division. If you purchase the MLB “At-Bat” app, this is where your money goes. Bloomberg estimates that currently each team earns around $110M a year from “advanced media”.
Bloomberg News valued the Milwaukee Brewers organization at $615M, which ranked 22nd in the league. The Brewers’ “team value” came in at $504M. The $110M from the “MLB advanced media” accounted for the rest of their “total value”. The Brewers organization generated no value from a “regional sports network” or “related business”. Bloomberg News also ranked each team by a number of baseball related activities. For example, the Brewers 2013 attendance was 2.5 million, which was good enough for 15th in the league. Here’s how the Brewers ranked in the other categories –
Bloomberg News compiled these numbers about the 2012 season then made them available to the team for review and/or comment. Bob Quinn, the Brewers’ Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, responded to Bloomberg, which raised their confidence that the numbers are accurate.
Bloomberg’s interactive tool allows you to compare teams or sort teams by value, league, division, and wins. The good news for the Brewers is that outside of the Chicago Cubs, the rest of the NL Central is quite balanced in terms of “total value”.
|Team||Total Value||League Ranking|
|St. Louis Cardinals||$805M||15th|
As a Brewers fan living in Los Angeles, it’s easy for me to obsess over the giant financial chasm between baseball teams. As the Bloomberg interactive tool reveals, market size and regional sports networks are the biggest contributors to this disparity. Yet, if you set the interactive tool to sort the teams by wins for the 2013 season, it’s apparent that just because a team has a financial advantage off the field doesn’t mean it translates to wins on the field.