This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the organization’s recent on-field success and intense ballpark development efforts, but the Braves have announced a new club record in 2019 revenue. As Erick Jackson of the Atlanta Business Chronicle writes, the team’s total revenue rose to $476MM last year — up from $442MM in 2018.
Why are we only covering this sort of information from the Braves? The Atlanta organization is the only team in baseball that is required legally to release its financials, by virtue of the fact that it’s owned by the publicly traded Liberty Media corporation.
The numbers reflect an eight percent rise in baseball-related revenue, with the team’s development-side earnings holding steady at $38MM. Increases at the gate and in television revenue were cited by the organization as driving the gains.
As the Braves attempt to defend their two-straight NL East titles in 2020, they’ll do so with a payroll increase on the books. The club did finish the 2019 season with just over $136MM in salary obligations, representing the third-straight increase in end-of-season spending, but had done so after opening with only a ~$115MM payroll. As things stand for 2020, there’s about $147.5MM on the books for the season to come. (All of these numbers reflect the cash accounting set forth by Cot’s on Contracts.)
Those increases in MLB roster spending will obviously impact the bottom line. Indeed, the club had already reported significant increases in its operating expenses in 2019. But as Jackson notes, that’s due to the ongoing efforts in and around the ballpark — the intention of which, clearly, is to support long-term revenue growth.