It’s been more than a decade since Mark Attanasio’s ownership group purchased the Milwaukee Brewers from the Selig family. Back then, Attanasio came in and bought the Brew Crew for $223,000,000. According to Forbes, if Mark were to sell the team, he’d be looking to get around $1,000,000,000 back in return.
Forbes published its annual ranking of MLB team values on Wednesday. The profiles go into depth about the team’s revenue, operating income, player expenses and more. According to the list, Milwaukee is the 25th most valuable team in baseball. On its own, that’s not too impressive, but the Brewers were in the top 6 for economic growth over the last year. The Crew also ranked in the top 10 for operating income and debt-to-value, demonstrating that Attanasio has assembled quite the valuable asset.
Perhaps most impressive is analyzing the team’s growth in value over the last few years. Before the Brewers’ rebuild, the last successful team was in 2014. That team nearly made it into the playoffs and was a first-place team for a majority of the season. At that time, the organization was worth $565 million. Meaning that the team actually saw substantial growth while it was rebuilding.
Last year’s winning team helped improve the organization’s status quite a bit. The team became more marketable as a result of the surprise success it sustained last year. Forbes notes that the attendance at Miller Park saw a 10% increase, while TV viewership increase by 35%, the third-highest margin in all of baseball.
Another part of the financial success comes from what the ownership was doing while the team was rebuilding. Not only was Milwaukee assembling a bigger roster but Attanasio was using money that could have otherwise gone into payroll to upgrade the assets he already had. Miller Park went through its most significant update since its opening, the organization purchased the Carolina Mudcats, and now this year the team started work to improve its Spring Training facility.
It must be noted that these numbers don’t mean much. Forbes compiles and produces this information with the limited amount of facts MLB teams make public and make some assumptions about value. With the current rate for sports teams based on recent sales, it’s not hard to imagine a successful team selling for more than $1 billion. If Mark sold tomorrow, I would certainly expect he exceeds that.
This report is a testament to the effort Attanasio has put into the organization and increasing the value of his investment. Now, let’s see how he’ll move forward with that. Many fans will expect Mark to reallocate the resources he has earned into creating a team that can compete for the World Series. The moves made by the organization suggest that he will not spend that money just to spend it, and moves will still be calculated risks. While fans may be disappointed with that, Attanasio is still responsible for running a business. Successful businesses turn profits and make money.