Chicago Cubs most profitable team in baseball in 2014, look to be moreso after new tv deal
Chicago Tribune, Paul Sullivan
"The Cubs are the fourth most valuable franchise in the major leagues at $1 billion, according to Forbe's annual valuation of all 30 teams.
Forbes also estimates the Cubs had an operating income of $32.1 million last year, making them the most profitable team in baseball. Operating income was based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
The business magazine said the Cubs figure to be in even better shape after 2014, when they can opt out of their WGN-TV deal and sign a more lucrative contract. Forbes said the Cubs made less than $50 million last year from their broadcast affiliates, CSN Chicago and WGN.
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts declined to address their TV plans during his opening trip to spring training in February, except to say a discussion on rights fees will begin in 2013.
“Obviously local media rights have been increasing in value,” he said. “Hopefully at some point we will be able to get more value for our media rights. It’s just something that’s playing out over time.”
The Cubs have decreased payroll by 25 percent in the first three seasons of Ricketts’ ownership, while the team has added more revenue streams, including the Toyota sign in left field, a new bar/restaurant in the Captain Morgan Club, a patio section in right field, an LED board in right which shows ads before games and between innings, and even the Noodle, an advertisement for Kraft that was removed after last season.
Ricketts said in February the payroll decrease is irrelevant.
“You’re kind of comparing it to Tribune (Co.) payrolls of the last couple years, which, from our standpoint and the team standpoint, were just unsustainable," he said.
The Ricketts bought the Cubs, Wrigley Field and a 20 percent stake in CSN Chicago in 2009 for $845 million.
The New York Yankees, at $2.3 billion, are the most valuable franchise, according to Forbes, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers at $1.6 million and Boston at $1.3 billion.
The Chicago White Sox ($692 million) are rated as the 11th most valuable franchise and had $216 million in revenue last season." via Free Republic Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon