The annual baseball financial breakdown at Forbes has arrived, and while there are caveats aplenty about just how opaque MLB financials are – very! – it tends to do a reasonable job giving us the best possible outside picture.
I’ll recommend reading the whole thing to get an overall sense of the financial state of a league that was legitimately hammered by the pandemic, BUT ALSO legitimately has seen revenues bounce back and then some. The headline, literal and figurative, for our interests around here, though is that the Chicago Cubs’ valuation has ROCKETED up further since last year, when Forbes pegged the organization at $3.36 billion. Now? It’s a whopping $3.8 billion. That’s a 13% increase from last year.
(It’s nearly as much as the reported asking price for Chelsea FC!)
Major League Baseball locked out its players for three months as they hashed out a new collective bargaining agreement. Two weeks after the sides struck a deal, clubs are already reaping the benefits.https://t.co/Ia3c6tAQQz pic.twitter.com/5r0HgzpSc3
— Forbes (@Forbes) March 24, 2022
At $3.8 billion, the value of the Cubs is eclipsed only by the New York Yankees ($6 billion), the Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.075 billion), and the Boston Red Sox ($3.9 billion). The 13% increase in valuation from last year for the Cubs actually tracks with all the teams at the top of the rankings, so it says less about the Cubs, specifically, becoming more valuable, and more about the whole league becoming much more valuable. Heck, the middle-of-the-pack White Sox are now worth nearly $1.8 billion, and there is just ONE team in all of MLB worth less than a billion (the Marlins come in at $990 million).
Which, well, we know that owning an MLB team has been an incredible investment. And it’s why the lockout was all the more frustrating, discouraging, galling, and unacceptable.