Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Kenny Williams like to highlight expenses and downplay revenue when it comes to baseball business, but accroding to Forbes' list of Baseball's Most Valuable Teams, the White Sox are the tenth-most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball. Peripheral improvements like Bacardi at the Park and the Chicago Sports Depot have provided additional revenue streams to offset increases in payroll since the 2005 World Series Championship, and the White Sox actually increased 14 percent in value last year to $600 million.
Their annual revenue is actually the lowest mark of any top-10 team ($214 million), but as Forbes points out, the Sox have been creative in finding ways to increase that number:
The White Sox have been expanding their retail operations to boost revenue. Last year the team opened up Bacardi at the Park, a new restaurant across the street from U.S. Cellular Field. The Illinois Sports Facilities Commission, which built the stadium, paid $3.2 million for the construction of the new, 10,000 square foot, upscale restaurant, but the White Sox keep all the profits. The team also opened up a store late last year, the Chicago Sports Depot, which will sell sports apparel and paraphernalia across from the South Side stadium. The White Sox's lease with the ISFA, which allows the team to keep all profits from team-run operations on state-owned property, runs through 2029. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf has been reinvesting the revenue gains in the team, increasing payroll 12% over 2010, to $126 million by the end of the 2011 season.
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