Every year, Forbes magazine releases a set of valuations ranking sports teams by current estimated franchise value. Forbes has just released its MLB valuations and this year the magazine claims MLB's teams have emerged from the recession with higher values. Some cities and teams might quibble with that, but the article says that the average MLB franchise is worth $523 million, up 7% from last year and only three teams -- the Mets, Indians and Padres -- lost value.
The Cubs' estimated value, ranking fourth in all of baseball, is $773 million, about $70 million less than the Ricketts family paid for them less than two years ago. The Cubs are said to have total revenues of $258 million and operating income of $23.5 million. Meanwhile, the Sox moved into the game's top third, ranking 10th, with an even higher operating income of $27.2 million on lower revenues than the Cubs had: $210 million.Who's the most profitable MLB team? The answer, from the article, might surprise you:
The most profitable team was the Padres, which had an operating income of $37 million in 2010. The team’s attendance surged by 200,000 at Petco Park as the Padres finished just two games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The Padres managed to post a 90-72 record despite a payroll of just $38 million, which was the lowest in baseball. The Padres also benefited from a revenue-sharing check of more than $30 million.
Something's wrong with the system if the Padres got enough revenue-sharing to go to the top of the profit list, while not investing money in players, particularly hometown favorite Adrian Gonzalez, who was traded to the Red Sox.
The complete list of teams and valuations is after the jump.
|Rank||Team||Current Value ($ mil)||1-year Value Change (%)||Debt/Value (%)||Revenue ($ mil)||Operating Income ($ mil)|
|1||New York Yankees||1,700||6||4||427||25.7|
|2||Boston Red Sox||912||5||26||272||-1.1|
|3||Los Angeles Dodgers||800||10||54||246||32.8|
|5||New York Mets||747||-13||60||233||-6.2|
|7||San Francisco Giants||563||16||21||230||29.9|
|9||LA Angels of Anaheim||554||6||10||222||11.8|
|10||Chicago White Sox||526||13||8||210||27.6|
|11||St. Louis Cardinals||518||6||53||207||19.8|
|19||San Diego Padres||406||0||49||159||37.2|
|26||Kansas City Royals||351||3||14||160||10.3|
|27||Toronto Blue Jays||337||3||0||168||3.6|
|28||Tampa Bay Rays||331||5||35||166||6.8|