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Financial Report

Forbes came out with their fantastic MLB team valuations yesterday afternoon. Last year's Mariners ranked:

  • 5th in total value ($415m)

  • 22nd in percent value change from 2003 (+5%)

  • 10th in percent debt/value (28%)

  • 4th in revenue ($173m)

  • 10th in operating income (+$10.8m)
Another healthy fiscal season for the Mariners. Despite a dip in attendance, the team managed to boost its revenue by $4m while remaining in the upper third in income.

So how does the team's spending stack up with other organizations?

*-Opening Day payroll figures are taken from Hardball Dollars, and include benefits ($7.55m for every team) and cash that's moving into or our of the organization.

In terms of putting revenue back into the team, the Mariners are in the middle of the pack, sandwiched between San Diego and Oakland for 14th place. Your initial impression is that they should be higher up on the list, given that they finished 2004 more than $10m in the black, and you're probably right - the rival Angels are spending a bit more on their roster this year with a lower total revenue than Seattle, and despite losing a bunch of money in 2004. However, it should be noted that the Mariners were 21st on this list a year ago, so they're moving in the right direction. It would appear that the lousy 2004 season pushed the owners to spend more money to improve the team after all.

Forbes has another handy graphic on their Mariners team page - a pie chart showing how different areas contribute to the team's total value.

$184m, or 44.3% of the team's total value, comes from the surrounding city and general market - 6th highest in the league, and seemingly going against the claim that the Mariners are a small-market team. Seattle also ranks fourth in percent value attributable to "brand management," suggesting that they're doing a good job of marketing the team, and that merchandise is selling well in the gift shops. Thanks, Ichiro.