The Indians are looking to sell a significant minority stake in the team, according to Josh Kosman and Claire Atkinson of the New York Post. Owner Paul Dolan enlisted boutique investment bank Allen & Co. several months ago to sell roughly 30% of his team. Sources say that Allen wants to involve a new investor so that he can increase the club’s payroll. Over the weekend, Dolan confirmed to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer that he is seeking a minority owner and he explained that the process has been going on “for nearly a year.”
So far, Dolan has yet to find a taker due largely to his asking price. Dolan believes that the team is worth roughly $800MM, but many disagree with that assessment. The Indians, at present, are only breaking even. Making matters worse, the team does not own a regional sports network like some other clubs do and they’re in the early stages of a long-term media rights deal.
One source familiar with the process says that he doesn’t see much financial upside with the Indians at this time. Without a big TV deal, sports industry sources tell The Post duo that the Indians are worth about $600MM in total. The Padres went for $800MM in 2012, but they had the benefit of a fat $1.2 billion TV deal.
The Indians have been near the bottom of the league in payroll in recent years and with the exception of 2001, they have never had an Opening Day tally higher than $90MM. This year, the Indians had an Opening Day payroll of just under $88MM, which put them in the bottom five in MLB. The Indians are 62-66 heading into today’s game against the Angels.