Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Braves revenue fell by almost $300 million last year

The Braves’ revenue declined by 63%, falling from a franchise-record $476 million in 2019 to $178 million in 2020, as a result of a shortened season played without fans in the stands, according to figures disclosed Friday by team owner Liberty Media.

The Braves had an operating loss before depreciation and amortization of $49 million last year, representing a negative swing of $103 million from a profit of $54 million in 2019, the company said.

Liberty Media said in its financial report that of the Braves’ $178 million in 2020 revenue, $142 million came from baseball sources, down from $438 million in 2019. The other $36 million came from real-estate development The Battery Atlanta, down from $38 million the year before. Total revenue declined $298 million from 2019.

Such baseball revenue sources as ticket and concession sales were shut off in 2020 as games were played amid the COVID-19 pandemic without fans in attendance. The reduced number of games “also negatively impacted broadcasting revenue,” Liberty Media noted. Other revenue streams, such as sponsorships and parking, also were affected.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 09:13 AM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Duke Posted: March 02, 2021 at 09:58 AM (#6007229)
Even with concrete data showing the industry losses around 3 billion everyone will simply dismiss this and claim the owners are greedy. This year may be worse since they will be paying 2.6x the amount in salaries and in stadium revenue will be a pittance.

It would be interesting to see when they model a return to normal which means ability to sell every seat, season ticket holders renewing, ticket prices remaining at 2019 levels and people actually filling the seats. Attendance at those prices was already waning.
   2. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: March 02, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6007231)
Even with concrete data showing the industry losses around 3 billion everyone will simply dismiss this and claim the owners are greedy


Well yeah. They made $476 million in 2019, and while that was a team record I'd bet their revenues for prior years was fairly close to that. I'm willing to bet the net benefit to the Braves' owners over the last X number of years is a significant profit and that's without even factoring in the value of the franchise itself. If they are really worried about money they could probably sell for a tidy profit. I don't think "rich people are greedy" is an especially outlandish claim.
   3. bfan Posted: March 02, 2021 at 11:58 AM (#6007242)
I don't think "rich people are greedy" is an especially outlandish claim.


I think it is an outrageous stereotype and a thoughtless generalization that I believe to be incorrect.

I also would like to make one thing clear for what seems like the 100th time. $54 million in profit has little meaning without context. Specifically, what is the value of the asset that is generating that profit? Forbes currently values the Braves at $1.8 billion. A $54 million return on an asset worth $1.8 billion is a 3.0% return. That is a paltry return. Tax free municipal bonds return more (although not lately).
   4. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: March 02, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6007249)
News sources should refuse to report these team provided revenue numbers unless there are expenditure numbers to provide context.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: March 02, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6007250)
Specifically, what is the value of the asset that is generating that profit? Forbes currently values the Braves at $1.8 billion. A $54 million return on an asset worth $1.8 billion is a 3.0% return. That is a paltry return. Tax free municipal bonds return more (although not lately).
The value of the team is also appreciating every year.
   6. The Duke Posted: March 02, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6007252)
4. Liberty media provides detailed financials for the Braves. The braves are a separate segment so the results are very clear. Everything you could want is right there in black and white. Go to their investor relations site and look at their 4th quarter results.
   7. The Duke Posted: March 02, 2021 at 12:36 PM (#6007253)
5. Club valuation is based on projected cash flows over a long period of time with the current years having the most influence in that PV calculation. It most certainly did not increase as projected revenues/profits in the next few years are lower. This is not supposition. The Mets sold for less to Cohen post-pandemic than the offers on the table pre-pandemic.

As clubs reduce player costs over the next 2-3 years, valuations may come back quickly but it will take that much time for old underwater contracts to disappear and be replaced by cheaper contracts.
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 12:45 PM (#6007255)
$54 million in profit has little meaning without context. Specifically, what is the value of the asset that is generating that profit? Forbes currently values the Braves at $1.8 billion. A $54 million return on an asset worth $1.8 billion is a 3.0% return. That is a paltry return. Tax free municipal bonds return more (although not lately).

That just means the team is (or may be) overvalued at $1.8 billion, not that the profit is insufficient. I don’t see why any of us should care about team valuations, as long as the teams generate enough cash to justify the actual capital that is required to operate the business.

To put it another way, the cash flow and risk (and a host of other factors) dictate the value of the asset, not the other way around.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6007256)
I think it is an outrageous stereotype and a thoughtless generalization that I believe to be incorrect.

It's kind of hard to become exceedingly rich without an avaricious desire for money, unless you inherit it. Most normal people would quit after the first $10-20M. You have to really love money yo keep working 70+ hours a week (as most really successful people do) after you and your children and grandchildren are set for life.
   10. The Duke Posted: March 02, 2021 at 01:29 PM (#6007265)
Nobody keeps working for the money at that stage. It’s for the power. Power is far more seductive than money. And it manifests itself in many ways. Power can drive a need for adulation (see: Trump), a desire to manage other people’s lives (my experience is that CEOs are incredibly focused on things like medical benefits for employees - sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way), a desire to do what no one else has achieved (jobs, musk), a desire to become a community icon (see the kaufmanns in KC). Of course you need money to wield power which is why the two go together.

At a more instinctual level, some people just love to work. It’s who they are.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6007268)
Nobody keeps working for the money at that stage. It’s for the power. Power is far more seductive than money. And it manifests itself in many ways. Power can drive a need for adulation (see: Trump), a desire to manage other people’s lives (my experience is that CEOs are incredibly focused on things like medical benefits for employees - sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way), a desire to do what no one else has achieved (jobs, musk), a desire to become a community icon (see the kaufmanns in KC). Of course you need money to wield power which is why the two go together.

A lust for power is also greed.
   12. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: March 02, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6007269)
It's kind of hard to become exceedingly rich without an avaricious desire for money, unless you inherit it. Most normal people would quit after the first $10-20M.


Define normal. This is important since you've lumped people into two categories, those with "an avaricious desire for money" and those who are abnormal.
   13. JJ1986 Posted: March 02, 2021 at 01:40 PM (#6007270)
The Mets sold for less to Cohen post-pandemic than the offers on the table pre-pandemic.
The pre-pandemic deal would have had the Wilpons retain control for 5 years.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6007273)

Define normal. This is important since you've lumped people into two categories, those with "an avaricious desire for money" and those who are abnormal.


Normal is people who view money as a means to an end, and once they have enough to meet all their conceivable needs, can find something better to do with their time. Given $20M, 99.9% of humanity would not continue to work at a high stress, demanding job.
   15. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6007274)

I don't know about that; it seems like most people who reach $20 million keep trying very hard to make more. So unless you think that just about everyone who gets to $20 million is in that "abnormal" category, it seems like quite a large percentage of people would keep working for more than $20 million, but just can't get there in the first place.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6007279)
So unless you think that just about everyone who gets to $20 million is in that "abnormal" category,

That's exactly what I think.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2021 at 03:21 PM (#6007284)
Even with concrete data showing the industry losses around 3 billion everyone will simply dismiss this and claim the owners are greedy.
Any franchises sold at a loss lately? A discount, even? One doesn’t have to disparage ownership to be skeptical about MLB’s centuries long poverty claims.
$54 million in profit has little meaning without context.
Those profit numbers always look better if the ‘expense’ side of the ledger includes millions in salaries for the owner’s semi-employable family members, as well as his own invaluable CEO services.
   18. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: March 02, 2021 at 03:37 PM (#6007289)
Normal is people who view money as a means to an end, and once they have enough to meet all their conceivable needs, can find something better to do with their time. Given $20M, 99.9% of humanity would not continue to work at a high stress, demanding job.


What "end"? Some people like what they do and it happens to pay well. Since this is a baseball site... I don't think Brian Cashman keeps doing his job after earning $50–60M because of "an avaricious desire for money." You've made clear many times the GM life isn't of interest to you, but I don't see how those inclined toward it are thus abnormal.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 04:06 PM (#6007294)
What "end"? Some people like what they do and it happens to pay well. Since this is a baseball site... I don't think Brian Cashman keeps doing his job after earning $50–60M because of "an avaricious desire for money." You've made clear many times the GM life isn't of interest to you, but I don't see how those inclined toward it are thus abnormal.

Abnormal means different than the norm, not morally defective in some way. Sure, some people just really like their jobs, and the money is incidental, but a lot are greedy for money, power, or prestige.
   20. Zach Posted: March 02, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6007295)
I feel like the story here is not the owners' relation to money, but the fact that the amount they have to spend decreased by 2/3 last year, and this year isn't looking much better.

That's going to have repercussions for years down the line.
   21. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 02, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6007297)
Sure, some people just really like their jobs, and the money is incidental, but a lot are greedy for money, power, or prestige.

Does sex fall under power?
   22. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: March 02, 2021 at 06:38 PM (#6007313)
losses around 3 billion

the owners are greedy


Both things can be true.
   23. depletion Posted: March 02, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6007316)
I completely disagree that most normal people would quit after 10 or 20 million. The Beatles sold 50% of the records in the United States in March of 1964. They had a pretty cruddy management deal, but they were very rich at the time, especially when you consider where George, Paul and Ringo started from. They kept trying to improve over the next few years because they loved playing music. That they were highly successful enabled them to continue playing, but even if they were one quarter or one tenth as successful they would have still done music. Why does Bartolo Colon (career earnings $117M) keep playing ball in Mexico? Could it be he actually likes playing baseball?
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 02, 2021 at 08:00 PM (#6007319)
Why does Bartolo Colon (career earnings $117M) keep playing ball in Mexico? Could it be he actually likes playing baseball?
Do you have any idea how much it costs to feed several families with 50% Bartolo Colon genes??
   25. depletion Posted: March 02, 2021 at 08:05 PM (#6007320)
$116,999,999 ?
   26. Mayor Blomberg Posted: March 02, 2021 at 08:44 PM (#6007325)
I completely disagree that most normal people would quit after 10 or 20 million.

As long as one doesn't distinguish between loving a craft or art on one hand and loving raking in money on the other (what we call greed) you're right.
   27. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 09:08 PM (#6007327)
The Beatles sold 50% of the records in the United States in March of 1964. They had a pretty cruddy management deal, but they were very rich at the time, especially when you consider where George, Paul and Ringo started from


You're overlooking certain well known episodes in the life of the group that show the Beatles were indeed trying to get out from the business constraints put on them. For instance the White ALbum was a double album so the group could would only have one more album left on their contract with EMI or Capitol or whoever it was.

"It's Only a Northern Song" was a throwaway song knocked out in 20 min by Harrison to complete the Yellow Submarine album, or so I've read. Wikipedia doesnt mention that but it says that Harrison was very upset about his financial arrangement with Northern Songs .

The UK at that pt. had something like a 95% tax rate which would have hit them harder in the early days. Northern Songs went public in 1965 in order to relieve the onerous UK tax burdern. So the Beatles were clearly thinking of financials much of the time.

Establishing citizenship outside of England was an ongoing process for Lennon and that took some years. Not sure about the others. But I suspect when Lennon and Macca finally split it was because Lennon was more on sounder financial footing. But Im just guessing.

My only pt. is that it's not some foregone conclusion that the Beatles were hugely wealthy in 1964 say.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 02, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6007330)

I think certain people are driven to do well at their job and reach the top of their profession. In a lot of businesses, your compensation is kind of your scorecard of how well you're doing that. It's kind of like how athletes talk about being "disrespected" by low salary offers.

I don't know if that's "greed" the way that most people use the term. They're not doing it because they want to buy a giant yacht or swim in a giant money pit (although some probably do).
   29. depletion Posted: March 02, 2021 at 10:16 PM (#6007338)
My copy of the White Album has always had Apple labels on it. You're right about Northern Songs.
I guess I'm talking about "live to work" rather than "work to live". If you like what you do for a living, you're not going to stop if you're successful. You're going to stop if you suck.
   30. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: March 02, 2021 at 10:39 PM (#6007341)
If you like what you do for a living, you're not going to stop if you're successful. You're going to stop if you suck.


We see players all the time who show this isn't even always true.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:10 AM (#6007362)
Abnormal means different than the norm, not morally defective in some way.

atypical means different than the norm - but without the baggage
   32. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6007370)
Any argument that rests on the Beatles being normal is starting off on the wrong foot.
   33. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:14 AM (#6007372)
Any argument that rests on the Beatles being normal is starting off on the wrong foot.

Ha, this was exactly my thought.
   34. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6007376)
I tend to agree with snapper on this but also would carve out the cases where the thing that makes people wealthy started as a craft of love. Outside sports and the arts, I know physicians who work insane schedules though they could easily retire to a life of comfort because they truly believe their doing great work. I know lawyers who love the "game". I don't know any hotshot business executives but I'm sure some of them love the profession.

But anyone looking at the super rich, as a group, and concluding that they're working for love of anything but money and power is very naive, in my opinion. If I met someone who was worth north of 50 million and also worked more than 50 hours a week (or at all), the burden of proof that they're not greedy ######## would be on them.

Of course, I think most people are greedy. It's just we don't get to see it because most of us never land in a spot where working is a luxury.
   35. bunyon Posted: March 03, 2021 at 10:05 AM (#6007378)
Also, is anyone really arguing that baseball teams (and entertainment/ers generally) suffered massive losses in 2020? I mean, I'm usually pro-player and anti-management (see post 34) but, yeah, I'll give them this one. They likely got crucified. Of course, so did millions of other people who can't nearly afford it as well and who likely won't recover. So owners don't get a ton of sympathy from me but they don't get zero.
   36. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6007395)
Also, is anyone really arguing that baseball teams (and entertainment/ers generally) suffered massive losses in 2020? I mean, I'm usually pro-player and anti-management (see post 34) but, yeah, I'll give them this one. They likely got crucified. Of course, so did millions of other people who can't nearly afford it as well and who likely won't recover. So owners don't get a ton of sympathy from me but they don't get zero.

Right I'm basically here, too. They're also, somewhat uniquely, practically guaranteed to bounce back.
   37. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: March 05, 2021 at 09:16 AM (#6007723)
They're also, somewhat uniquely, practically guaranteed to bounce back.
I'm not arguing the point, because it's certainly possible, but I am very curious to see if that turns out to be the case. For myself, this year of inconvenience has led me to conclude that there were certain things that I haven't been able to do that I simply don't miss. Maybe I represent a tiny fraction of the pie, however - no way to really know yet.
   38. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: March 05, 2021 at 09:39 AM (#6007726)
I'm not arguing the point, because it's certainly possible, but I am very curious to see if that turns out to be the case. For myself, this year of inconvenience has led me to conclude that there were certain things that I haven't been able to do that I simply don't miss. Maybe I represent a tiny fraction of the pie, however - no way to really know yet.


My guess is we are going to see fairly similar numbers but in different demographics. I suspect in the long run this might be good for baseball (and other entertainment forms). I think the diehards like me who normally go to 25 games a year have realized "meh, I can enjoy this at home as easily and cheaper" but the casual fans who go to a couple games a year are greatly missing the communal experience that a rare foray to the park brings. So you'll see similar attendances moving forward but it might be made up of slightly different mixes.
   39. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#6007729)
I think the diehards like me who normally go to 25 games a year have realized "meh, I can enjoy this at home as easily and cheaper" but the casual fans who go to a couple games a year are greatly missing the communal experience that a rare foray to the park brings. So you'll see similar attendances moving forward but it might be made up of slightly different mixes.

This is my guess too, but yeah, will be interesting to see.

My wording wasn't great but by "guaranteed to bounce back" I was also thinking about the many thousands (tens of thousands? I have no idea) of restaurants that have closed. And while we obviously know that restaurants as a category will bounce back, there's no guarantee of that for the specific individuals involved. Contrast that with pro sports, where's there's essentially no chance an American team will go under. I don't think takeout/delivery income for restaurants is quite as lucrative as the TV deals that kept on paying out.
   40. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6007765)
I think one of the things that people tend to overlook is extremely succesful people develop networks of other people around them who depend upon them for employment, and feel pressure to keep up that network.

Like why does Robert Deniro do some dumb movie for a $20 million paycheck? He doesn't need to do that? Well, Robert Deniro has an agent who he's been with for a longtime, a publicist, probably several different assistants for different things, a stylist, household help, he puts money into Tribeca Films, etc. There starts to be pressure to maintain your little tribe at the high levels, you are almost like a little corporation (indeed you probably are in the legal sense)
   41. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: March 05, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6007790)
I think the diehards like me who normally go to 25 games a year have realized "meh, I can enjoy this at home as easily and cheaper"


I dunno dude. The first game that I can safely attend at Camden Yards, I'm going to buy two seats just to make up for lost time.
   42. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 05, 2021 at 11:47 PM (#6007815)
The Braves ran a $130m payroll in 2020 according to bb-ref, which pro-rates to $48m. There are plenty of other expenses for a team, of course, but am I really supposed to believe that $178m in revenue led to a net loss of $49m? Where did they blow the other $179m?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Andere Richtingen
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMLB To Experiment With Pre-Tacked Baseball During Triple-A Final Stretch
(1 - 1:55am, Sep 24)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogThe 3,000 Hit Club Is Closed for Maintenance
(17 - 1:52am, Sep 24)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Sox TherapyOK, Let’s Play Scenarios
(8 - 12:04am, Sep 24)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

Sox TherapyIt's A Sprint, Not A Marathon
(57 - 11:17pm, Sep 23)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

Gonfalon CubsThis all sucks
(41 - 11:13pm, Sep 23)
Last: Brian C

NewsblogWEEKDAY OMNICHATTER wants you to believe in yourself, for September 20, 2021
(105 - 11:03pm, Sep 23)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogBill James: Swing Hard; maybe you'll run into something
(20 - 11:02pm, Sep 23)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(14146 - 10:39pm, Sep 23)
Last: Tony S

NewsblogAtlanta Braves' Adam Duvall has home run nixed after baserunning gaffe
(9 - 9:35pm, Sep 23)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

NewsblogArizona Diamondbacks give manager Torey Lovullo one-year extension despite 104-loss season
(4 - 9:08pm, Sep 23)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

NewsblogNBA 2021 Playoffs+ thread
(4587 - 8:19pm, Sep 23)
Last: 57i66135 right now is attacking rest

NewsblogRays grab data card shaken loose from Kirk's wrist, deny Blue Jays' request to return it
(97 - 8:08pm, Sep 23)
Last: KronicFatigue

NewsblogRemorseful Thom Brennaman deserves to work again now; He’s already suffered 14 months of hell
(110 - 6:15pm, Sep 23)
Last: Ron J

NewsblogAnti-vax baseball coach from Miami files religious discrimination complaint against MLB team
(25 - 5:45pm, Sep 23)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Newsblog'We feel he's the right guy': Reds manager David Bell agrees to 2-year contract extension
(16 - 3:14pm, Sep 23)
Last: Howie Menckel

Page rendered in 0.4198 seconds
48 querie(s) executed