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29th out of 30

March 24, 2011

Forbes today released their list of Major League Baseball franchise values, the A’s? 29th out of 30 (ouch). Can’t say this was particularly surprising right? The franchise was valued at a mere $307M, so if you have some loose change sitting in your couch and are looking to pick up a baseball club perhaps this is your bet. The article made however a very strong point here saying,

“The Oakland A’s play in one of Major League Baseball’s wealthiest regions but get less than $7 million a season from premium seating at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which is controlled by the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture and majority owned by stadium operator SMG.”

Another interesting this is who we are ahead of (not who I would’ve thought – Tampa Bay): Pittsburgh. The Pirates with arguably one of the greatest stadiums in the country were worth less as a franchise at $304M (or less than Conor Jackson‘s 2011 contract). So new stadiums perhaps don’t mean as much as we think they do? Of course the A’s situation is different. Unlike Pittsburgh – the only show in town in pro baseball – in Oakland we have competition across the bay in the form of glittering AT&T Park. With a substitute for baseball available, people are opting for the substitute good. The A’s have a great market, whether it be in Oakland or (the even better market of) San Jose, and we need to capitalize on this. Until we get a new stadium somewhere though, it’ll be difficult for us to move up this ranking and add value to our franchise.

We certainly are doing things right with stretching our money as our wins to player-cost ratio is 130 meaning Oakland achieved 30% more victories per dollar of payroll compared with the league average in 2010 – though a far cry from the Moneyball days of 2002 (186), 2003 (179) and 2004 (153).

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