Forbes recently released their annual report on the financials behind MLB. Yahoo reported here that the top three were the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets, with Oakland and Pittsburgh bringing up the rear (ouch, last even with a new stadium).
But what did they say about the Royals?
I find Forbes' reports interesting. MLB officials often dispute their validity or accuracy, but I don't know of any other credible source for financial information on the teams. The Forbes' article, "Baseball's Most Valuable Teams," makes the following conclusions:
* The average MLB team is worth $491 Million, up 2% from last year.
* Profits rose 4% in 2009 over 2008, despite the recession, on the strength of "new or refurbished stadiums opened in cities like New York and Kansas City..."
* Forbes uses certain accounting principles in its valuations that the teams or MLB wouldn't necissarily agree with. For example, the Mets valuation was lowered because "the team has stumbled badly on the field, and rank-and-file fans are disgusted with management."
* The Twins and Brewers were the cream of the small-market crop. The Brewers have had a "wins-to-player cost ratio" of 110 or higher in 6 of the last 7 seasons, meaning they have gnerated at least 10 more wins per dollar spent on player salary than the average team. (see the Royals number below)
* The Pirates and Rangers are listed as the teams most in need of 'saving.' But despite paltry attendance of 1.4 million in a relatively new ballpark, the Pirates still profited $15.6M because they received nearly $40M in revenue sharing.
You have to click through a slide show to see where the Royals are. The result?
- 9% increase over 2008, largely due to stadium renovations / increased attendance
- $155M Revenue
- $8.9M Operating Income
- Wins-to-Player cost ratio: 85*
* Judging by the spike in '04 and drop in '10, I believe the 2010 calculation is for the 2009 season, and so forth.