BOB: revenue sharing figures continue to riseby Brian Borawski
December 26, 2012
MLB revenue sharing pool close to $400 million in 2012While it's not quite official, Maury Brown has reported that MLB's revenue sharing pool is going to be right around $400 million for the 2012 season. While the exact breakdown on a per-team basis isn't reported, this is the pool of money that baseball uses to distribute cash from the big-market teams to the small-market ones. How it works is, each team puts in 34 percent of its local revenue (it was 31 percent in the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement) and then that money is split up amongst the 30 teams.
Of course, as big an issue is what the net winners (those smaller-market teams that end up with more money then they put in) do with their money. They're supposed to roll the money back into improving the team, but this became a controversy back when some select financial statements were leaked showing some of the teams (or rather, their owners) were pocketing the cash.
The only historical figures we have are from 2002 and 2003, and back then the pool was about half of what it is now. In 2003, the Monteral Expos received almost $30 million while the New York Yankees ended up with a $52.7 million shortfall. That probably means this year, the Yankees could be “losing” close to $100 million while smaller-market teams might be walking away with close to $60 million.
Athletics look for five-year lease extensionWhether it was a little birdie whispering in their ear or just a look at the current business environment, it looks like the Oakland Athletics have consigned themselves to the fact that they're not getting a new stadium soon and that they're stuck in the Coliseum for the foreseeable future. There were rumors to this effect for some time, but now it's official in that the Athletics are looking for a five-year lease extension that will keep them in Oakland through 2018.
This is probably a no-brainer for Oakland for a few different reasons. First, it means there isn't an empty stadium in the city (keep your Athletics attendance jokes to yourself), and it also means it gives the city time to put something together to keep the team in Oakland. While it looks like ownership wants out, if Oakland can present something viable that would prevent the train wreck that could happen in San Jose, then the league might push them towards staying in town.
Rays stadium sit down set for JanuaryThe Tampa Bay Rays stadium situation seems to be at a standstill but that doesn't mean the team and local politicians can't get together to talk about it. With that, the Pinellas County Commission has scheduled a tentative date of Jan. 29, 2013, to talk publicly with the Rays about Tropicana Field and their pursuit of a new ballpark. This question-and-answer session has been in the works for a while now, and both St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster and the St. Petersburg city council are invited.
It will be interesting to see if anything actually gets done. Foster continues to hold the Rays to the terms of their lease by not letting them talk to anyone else about a new stadium, while Rays ownership says it won't consider something new in St. Petersburg until the team is allowed to look elsewhere, as well. This meeting could be a lot of noise, but that doesn't mean it won't be worth watching to see what could come out of it.
Minor league wrapThere were a couple of interesting minor league stories out on the wire. First off, we have the quest of a minor league player who's now a minor league executive. Ryan Kiel's career ended after he suffered an elbow injury, but now he's back in the game after he was hired to be the general manager of the Pulaski Mariners, a team he had played for just a few years ago.
Kiel was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2010, and after spending time with four minor league teams, his season prematurely ended after the elbow problems. He got the job offer after going to the Winter Meetings and making a serious pitch at the PBEO Job Fair that's held there.
Also interesting is a story about how minor league players have embraced Twitter. More and more players have warmed to the the social media platform, and it gives fans a more intimate way to follow their favorite players.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.