The Los Angeles Dodgers just won the World Series – but they also just lost a pile of dough.
The star-studded Major League Baseball franchise, which scored a dramatic 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the championship series Tuesday night, nonetheless saw losses of about $ 125 million that season, The Post has learned.
That’s even worse than the league average in a year destroyed by the coronavirus. In an interview this week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the league’s 30 teams are expected to lose between $ 2.8 billion and $ 3 billion this season, which is an average of $ 97 million per team.
The biggest losers are big market teams, including the Yankees and Mets – and despite their win, the Dodgers will be no exception with knowledge of the team’s financials, according to sources. In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten admitted that the team’s revenue has fallen more than $ 100 million this season.
“As much as any team or more because we have so many fans and generate so much sales in a normal year,” said Kasten. “We didn’t receive most of it this year.”
Kasten did not elaborate on it and a Dodgers spokesman declined to comment. However, a source close to the team said the losses come after the Dodgers turned the corner last year and made about $ 60 million in profits for the 2019 season. The source added that the Dodgers would have lost a lot less if MLB had canceled the 2020 season.
Indeed, the losses present a dilemma for the wholesale market owners because gambling means losing money, says Greg Bouris, who formerly represented the Major League Players Association and directs the sports management program at Adelphi University.
“You’d be a bad business owner if you weren’t wondering if it’s worth playing games,” Bouris told The Post. “Why should you want to increase these losses next year? Hope the fans enjoyed the World Series because I don’t know when we’ll be watching baseball again. “
In 2019, the Dodgers raised $ 185 million in gate revenue – well above average, despite being below the Yankees’ $ 287 million, according to Forbes. The Dodgers ‘average ticket price was $ 43 compared to the Yankees’ price of $ 65, Forbes said. Overall, participation accounts for around 40 percent of the Dodgers’ total intake.
This is in line with the average MLB team, which gets an additional 40 percent from media rights (national and local) and the rest from sponsorship and suite deals, one sports banker said.
Combine the loss of ticket revenue with the cost of staggering the Dodgers, which totaled $ 108 million in 2020, making it the second highest in baseball. Despite a 2020 season that was reduced from 162 to 60 games – and despite the fact that the games were played in empty stadiums – the Dodgers, like all teams, were forced to pay players game after game.
This includes stars like Left-handed starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who made $ 16 million in the shortened season, and outfielder Mookie Betts, who received a salary of $ 10 million.
The Tampa Bay Rays, on the other hand, only drew 1.2 million fans in 2019 and had the 27th highest payroll at $ 28 million. Accordingly, it is clear that they lost far less money than the Dodgers.
As they weigh the outlook for 2021, the big market teams are likely to make some noise in the months ahead about the oversized hits they’ve scored on the bottom line.
By that year, all teams were giving 48 percent of their local revenue to MLB, which it shared equally with all teams, so smaller market clubs like the Rays were less disadvantaged in signing players than larger market teams like the Dodgers.
MLB’s collective bargaining agreement ends after next season, and big market teams are likely to argue that they should share less of their earnings with MLB after this year’s disaster.
In the Dodgers’ case, losses that year were made worse by interest payments on debt of $ 400 million the team carried from a leveraged buyout in 2012 where Guggenheim Partners bought 90 percent of the team in a partnership to the its boss also included managing director Mark Walter, investor Todd Boehly and NBA legend Magic Johnson.
After the Guggenheim partnership suffered losses to sign contracts for big players and build the championship club they had hoped for, the Guggenheim partnership began reducing the payroll to manageable levels by trading with high dollar players like Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Kazmir and make the Dodgers profitable.
Last year, the Dodgers owners sold small minority stakes in deals that valued the team at $ 3.2 billion.