Forbes has valued the Philadelphia Phillies franchise at $893 million dollars in an article released on Wednesday. That figure is a 19% increase from the teams’ 2012 appraisal at $723M, and also good for fifth highest in Major League Baseball. The elevation in the Phillies value is on par with the rest of baseball, as the average MLB team is worth $744M, which is a 23% increase from last year.
The Phillies are the fifth most valuable team in the majors behind the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago Cubs, and are followed closely by their division rivals the New York Mets. Those “standings” give you perspective about how many people are actively suffering with the Cubs and Mets as they battle their disappointing fates, and provide (most likely) another year of tedium for their supporters.
I asked myself how that happened, how did the Phillies get fewer fans in the seats in 2012, win fewer games and still manage to increase their value by nearly one fifth? The answer is, and this should come as no surprise, I have no idea about the fluctuations in major markets and companies.
That’s right, I’m not an economist. I also have no intention of starting a political debate but I do know that our economy is getting better, albeit slowly. With that comes an increase in value for many companies, including major league baseball teams.
Though their total attendance was down in 2012, the Philadelphia Phillies had the highest attendance in baseball for the second straight year (best total attendance, average attendance, and percent capacity). They’ve also been in the top 5 since 2008. The consistency of those figures make a huge difference long term.
Another important factor is the Phillies current negotiations for a new television deal with Comcast. Along with having the best attendance the Phillies television broadcast is among the most watched in baseball (the #1 broadcast in 2011), and as such they will likely see a huge increase in what they receive from Comcast. Forbes suggests that their annual $54M figure could double after the 2015 season. Maybe after they renegotiate they’ll be able to happily afford Ryan Howard’s contract. I doubt it though.