The Kansas City Royals’ valuation climbed 8% from last year to $1.2 billion, but the team’s bump trailed the average 12% growth in Major League Baseball, and its worth remains below the average of $2.3 billion.
Forbes’ ratings came out Thursday, putting the Royals at No. 27 in the 30-team MLB, just behind the Tampa Bay Rays at $1.25 billion and ahead of the Cincinnati Reds at $1.19 million. The team’s cross-state rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, saw its valuation rise from $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion, up 4% and good enough to rank No. 10.
The top 5 in Forbes’ valuations probably surprise no one (though their percentage increases might): New York Yankees ($7.1 billion, up 18%), Los Angeles Dodgers ($4.8 billion, up 18%), Boston Red Sox ($4.5 billion, up 15%), Chicago Cubs ($4.1 billion, up 8%) and San Francisco Giants ($3.7 billion, up 6%). Bringing up the rear: the Miami Marlins ($1 billion, up 1%).
Forbes said its new rankings set a record for the highest average valuation of an MLB franchise, which comes as MLB teams in the 2022 season set a record with $10.3 billion in revenue, up 7.8%.
Although revenue rose, Forbes found that operating income decreased 20%, averaging $17.8 million. It attributed the decrease to growing player compensation and administrative costs. Last year, the Royals had operating income of $28 million on revenue of $255 million, according to Forbes.
Revenue sharing ($490 million) constituted almost 41% of the Royals’ valuation. Kauffman Stadium ($200 million) represented about 17%.
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