Forbes has come out with its annual estimates of franchise values for Major League Baseball, and despite concerns the sport is dying, teams appears to be quite valuable. The Yankees remain the most valuable franchise at $3.4 billion, which only includes its baseball operations and not its ventures in to the YES Network, hosting college football, or Major League Soccer. Considering George Steinbrenner originally bought the Yankees for $8.7 million in 1973, this has been perhaps the greatest investments in sports history.
But it is not just large market franchises enjoying the wealth. MLB teams as a whole are worth $36 billion, with a 48% increase in value over last year. Rising attendance, mega-cable deals, and new stadiums have all contributed to record revenues for the sport. The sports has also had labor peace for decades now, although the collective bargaining agreement expires next year.
The Royals are riding their surge of popularity and have seen a 24% increase in franchise valuation in one year, up to $865 million. However, that still pales in comparison to many of their peers, ranking them 25th in baseball, ahead of only the Rockies, Indians, Athletics, Marlins and Rays. David Glass originally purchased the team for $96 million back in 2000, meaning the franchise has increased in value 801% in fifteen years. How does that compare to some other investments?
Value in millions
|Kansas City Royals||$96||$865||801%|
|New York Yankees||$645||$3,400||427%|
|New York Knicks||$395||$3,000||659%|
|Apple market cap||$5,000||$540,000||10,700%|
|General Motors market cap||$56,000||$55,000||-2%|
Sports is a lucrative venture surpassed only by Silicon Valley, and with virtually none of the risk. Here is how the value of some other things have changed over the last 15 years.
|Median US income||$57,724||$53,657||-7%|
|Median US home price||$169,000||$188,900||12%|
|$100 invested in the S&P||$100||$188||88%|
|Average MLB ticket price||$16.67||$28.94||74%|
|Average MLB player salary||$1,998,034||$4,250,000||113%|
David Glass is a businessman, and he deserves to make money on his investment. However, no one should feel bad for him if he claims he is losing money. His $96 million investment has multiplied eight-fold thanks to loyal fans and taxpayer-subsidized stadiums. Glass does deserve a lot of credit for investing in player personnel and player development, resulting in the franchise reaching the pinnacle of success last year. The Royals are a hot product again and a valuable commodity, and Royals fans couldn't be happier.