The San Francisco Giants are Very Wealthy

By Gabriel Lehman

$2.25 Billion. That is what the San Francisco Giants are worth according to Forbes, which published its annual list yesterday. To put that in perspective, Clayton Kershaw would need to inherit nearly $2 Billion before he could think about making a down payment on his rival.

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This should not come as a complete shock. The Giants play in what is often considered the most beautiful park in the country, hail from the wealthiest market in the country, sellout every single game, and host championship parades biannually.

Still, the sheer magnitude of the Giants wealth is reason for pause. From a simple financial point, other teams could see the Giants as bullies—in the same vein that Donald Trump is a bully. For those of us who grew up before the Championship Era, this sentiment doesn’t seem to fit, but the argument does have 2.25 billion reasons to back it up.

The San Francisco Giants, like the Bay Area, is new money.

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The Giants wealth cannot be attributed simply on their location. The crosstown Oakland Athletics are worth a measly $750 million, or 1/3 of the Giants. Say what you will about the East Bay being more affordable than the city, it is not three times as affordable.

It is also not just winning that catapults the Giants into baseball’s 1%– the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals are the 25th poorest team.

None of this is to say that the Giants newfound wealth is without its annoyances. A family of four can expect to spend at least $200 dollars to enjoy a Tuesday night game against the San Diego Padres. Go to a Giants game and you are likely to encounter a Google executive who couldn’t tell you J.T. Snow from Rich Aurilia sitting behind home plate. The Giants find themselves financially stable enough to invest $90 million in the pitcher with the highest ERA in the league last year. Still, the Giant’s wealth is no less impressive.

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The Giants are benefitting from a unique blend of real estate value and baseball talent. The Giant’s executives should cherish it. Wealth, in terms of both cash and World Series rings, can be fleeting.