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SF Giants news: Team is MLB’s 5th most valuable, per Forbes

SF Giants Oracle Park. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SF Giants Oracle Park. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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SF Giants valued at $3.1 billion

The SF Giants are one of the most storied franchises in MLB history, and they’re also one of the most valuable. Thursday, Forbes released its latest MLB valuations, estimating the Giants’ worth to be fifth in baseball.

The Yankees were the second most valuable team in all of sports at $5 billion, while the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants are clustered closer to $3 billion, with San Francisco checking in at $3.1 billion. That’s a one-year increase of 3 percent.

The Cowboys were valued at $5.5 billion last fall.

Forbes explains it calculates the values using revenue streams (such as media, gate receipts, sponsorships, and a few other things), equity, and debt. Ownership stakes in regional sports networks, as well as their associated profits and losses, were not included. Forbes notes it uses public documents, media rights, and information from sports bankers in its figures.

It’s a little more complicated than that, naturally, but that’s the gist.

The Giants made an estimated $452 million in revenue, down a little bit from the prior year, but still good for an operating income of $96 million. That’s the second-highest in baseball, behind the Astros ($99 million). Operating income is essentially how we’d think of profit before the accountants get involved and make things difficult: cash in minus cash out.

The Giants earned $154 million from gate receipts in 2019.

How this will look next year is anyone’s guess. Valuations and revenue will almost certainly be down, but by how much?

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Forbes notes that MLB’s plan to get in at least 100 games would still preserve the bulk of revenue for 2021. That schedule would allow it to keep its national media revenue, which is the second most important source of money for the league ($3.1 billion), behind gate receipts ($3.2 billion).

Playing a shortened schedule, possibly without fans, could be devastating to those gate receipts as well as other stadium revenue (worth $925 million, per Forbes), though.

However, the plan between MLB and the players union does mean teams will be paying out less in salaries if fewer games are played. Per ESPN, salaries will be prorated based on the number of games played.

The Giants had an estimated $192 million in player expenses last year, which includes benefits and bonuses. Their projected Opening Day roster for 2020 was already going to be $16 million less than a year ago and $46 million less than two years ago, so that will provide a little extra savings. (A few trades could help there, too).

A quick glance around the Bay Area for you: The 49ers were worth $3.5 billion last fall, fifth in the NFL. The Warriors lead the region with a $4.3 billion value, third highest in the NBA.

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