Forbes Magazine has released it’s annual report on the baseball business.
The Reds’ operating income for 2008 was $17 million dollars, which was 15th in baseball for last season.
The Florida Marlins led baseball with profits of $43 million and the Washington Nationals were second with $42.6 million. The Detroit Tigers lost $26.3 million and the Yankees lost $3.7 million. They were the only two teams to lose money for 2008.
As for the value of the teams, the Yankees are still first, with a value of $1.5 billion, followed by the Mets at $912 million and the Red Sox. The Reds’ franchise was valued at 25th in baseball, at $342 million. The most profitable team in baseball last year, the Marlins, had the lowest team value at $277 million.
The Reds’ team increased in value by 2% in 2008; MLB overall increased by 1%. As for debt to value ratio, the Reds have a debt/value ratio of 12%, which is 6th lowest in baseball. The Yankees debt/value ratio is 95%, including their new stadium debt. The three teams whose value increased the most last year were the Yankees, the Mets, and the Rays. They all had double digit growth.
The Reds team can be found here. Robert Castellini purchased the team for $270 million in 2006 and the team is now worth $342 million. The highest Reds operating income for a season was $23 million in 2005 and they made $22 million in 2007. They’ve dropped the last two seasons as player expenses have risen. Player expenses were $93 million for 2008 (the Forbes charts have different years listed than the story).
Forbes does say the Reds risk their team value declining in 2009 due to a big push by the team to increase their premium seating revenue during the recession. The story says the Reds made a big push for big ticket sales, which can’t be supported by their sponsorship and television revenue if the tickets aren’t purchased.