Can the Brewers ever place much higher in Forbes franchise values?

David Banks

Probably not.

In case you missed it, the Brewers were ranked by Forbes as the 25th most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball with a total value of $565 million.

The only franchises worth less than the Brewers are the Astros ($530 million), the Marlins ($500 million), the Athletics ($495 million), the Royals ($490 million) and the Rays ($485 million). The Indians, Rockies and Diamondbacks were the other franchises worth under $600 million.

The good news for the Brewers, and particularly owner Mark Attanasio, is that $565 million is nearing the point where Attanasio would triple his investment of $200 million to purchase the team from the Seligs in 2005. The team's value should keep rising

The bad news is I can't see the Brewers jumping up in these rankings anytime soon. According to Forbes, this is how the rankings were made:

Forbes team values are enterprise values (debt plus equity) and include completed television deals that begin in the future, but exclude the equity interests in other assets the team may own, such as regional sports networks or concession businesses. Revenues and operating income figures include all revenue and expenses for each team and its stadium where applicable.

The top five teams in value (and you could probably reasonably guess this) are the Yankees ($2.5 billion), the Dodgers ($2.0 billion), the Red Sox ($1.5 billion), the Cubs ($1.2 billion) and the Giants ($1.0 billion). Basically, teams who are in the largest markets while still maintaining reasonable amounts of success or should have success in the future.

Big TV deals and a big market are what will give a team a higher ranking in these valuations. The Brewers will never have either of those. Their television deals will get bigger, sure, but will stay proportionate to those of the Dodgers and Yankees and what the Cubs will soon have.

I'm not complaining that the Brewers probably won't ever rank much higher than they do. In the end, it's not such a big deal in and of itself. It brings up the large market vs small market dichotomy again, but we don't really need more proof that disparity is evident in baseball.

So, I guess, sorry Mark Attanasio. The Brewers won't become one of baseball's financial juggernauts. But at least you're getting a pretty handsome return on your initial investment. That's probably the more important thing to take away.

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