We are still in the process of breaking down the numbers, but the first thing to jump out at us is confirmation of the amount the Rays receive in revenue sharing. There have been rumors, but never anything concrete. On page 3 (at right), income from revenue sharing is listed as $35.3 million for 2008 and $39.4 million in 2007.
We also see that the Rays took in $17.7 million from their post-season appearance in 2008. The cost of hosting the playoffs was $6.2 million, meaning an $11.5 million windfall from their World Series run. And of course, those numbers don’t include any revenue generated from the millions of dollars in free advertising the team received from wall-to-wall national coverage in October, 2008.
At the end of page 3, we see that the Rays “comprehensive income” was $218K for 2008 and $9.6 million in 2007. Certainly not enormous figures, but…
[Update] According to The Biz of Baseball, the important figure is “Operating Income” also known as “Operating Profit.” This is the figure that indicates how much money the team made or lost in one fiscal year. According to these figures, the Rays made $14.2 million in 2008 and $21.7 million in 2007.
Pair those values with the increased value of the franchise in recent years according to Forbes, this appears to prove that the Rays are not losing money as Stuart Sternberg has stated recently. The Rays also claimed to lose between $20-30 million in 2006 and 2007.
We don’t think very many people actually believed the Rays were losing money, but these documents go a long way towards suggesting that the Rays have been less than truthful when it comes to their finances. It is a big blow to their efforts to move the team to Tampa as this shows the team can be profitable in St. Pete.