MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier in the year that owning a major league team wasn’t as profitable as the stock market.
He was obviously trying to minimize the owners’ financial power to gain some leverage in collective bargaining agreement (CBA) talks.
Of course, people with knowledge of the situation immediately found out his statement was just not true, and that MLB franchises are incredibly valuable.
An MLB team generates incredible revenue over the course of a year.
For example, the Liberty Media-owned Atlanta Braves reported $568 million in revenue for 2021.
That’s in one year!
MLB Owners Make An Incredible Amount Of Money
ESPN reporter Joon Lee provided another dose of reality to those who insist owning an MLB doesn’t generate as much money as people believe.
“In 2002, Jeffrey Loria bought the Marlins for $158.5M with a $38.5M no-interest loan from MLB. He sold the Marlins for $1.2 billion in 2017, making $1.04 billion in 15 years. If Loria invested $158.5 million in the S&P 500 in 2002 and sold in 2017, he ended up with $200.4 million,” he tweeted.
In 2002, Jeffrey Loria bought the Marlins for $158.5M with a $38.5M no-interest loan from MLB
He sold the Marlins for $1.2 billion in 2017, making $1.04 billion in 15 years
If Loria invested $158.5 million in the S&P 500 in 2002 and sold in 2017, he ended up with $200.4 million
— Joon Lee (@joonlee) March 3, 2022
For those who don’t know, the S&P 500, or Standard and Poor’s 500, is a stock market index that tracks the performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in America.
He had more examples: “George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973 for $10 million. Today, the Yankees are worth $5.25 billion, meaning the Steinbrenners have made $5.24 billion in 49 years. If Steinbrenner invested $10M in the S&P 500 in ’73, he would have $373.9 million instead of $5.25 billion.”
At this point, owners have no way to defend their decision of opting to cancel games before choosing to negotiate in good faith with the Players Association.
They have already called off two series of the season, so if there is no deal soon, more could be cancelled.
Owners have the means to put together a much better proposal.
Let’s hope it happens.