New York Yankees Are Smart to Explore Sale of Franchise

By Craig Williams

As arguably the most recognizable brand in the world, the New York Yankees find themselves as a fixture in the 24-hour media cycle.  If someone hands out a few gift bags, it becomes a story.  If someone has a few self portraits made, it becomes story.  So you know when rumors surfaced that the New York Yankees were exploring the sale of the franchise, eyebrows were raised and attention was caught.  The Steinbrenner family has been entrenched in the New York Yankees fabric since the 1970’s so it would certainly be odd to see someone (Mark Cuban?) other than George, Hank or Hal Steinbrenner occupying the owner’s box.

There is no reason to buy too heavily into these rumors at this point though.  I’m no accountant, nor do I know what the Yankees’ financial books look like, but you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t agree that the Bronx Bombers are doing just fine financially.  They have their own television network (YES Network), they have one of the most iconic stadiums in the world that they routinely pack 3.6 million fans into annually.  Not to mention the extra coin dropped on concessions and souvenirs.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of dough and plenty of profit even after you consider payroll and operating expenses.

You know what the wild card is though, right?  The sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion has many wondering what type of bids the New York Yankees could fetch. As historic a franchise as the Dodgers are, it is not a stretch to suggest that the Yankees could earn twice the price that Magic Johnson and Co. shelled out – if not more.  With this in mind, doesn’t it make sense to at least peek into the possibilities?  If I had an asset or group of assets that could potentially put $4 billion in my pockets, I’d certainly want to carefully explore how accurate those estimates are.  That is what I think the Steinbrenners are doing in this case.

Knowing how the New York Yankees do business on the field – let alone behind the scenes – it is very unlikely that a story of such magnitude would get spin cycled through the rumor mill before anything concrete came to fruition.  This is a development worth keeping tabs on, but I think this “story” will fizzle out as a little wave of errant chatter.

Want some more New York Yankees nuggets?  Follow me on Twitter @craigmwilliams.

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