Bloomberg Businessweek has released their second annual list of the “smartest spenders in sports,” and the Tampa Bay Rays came out on top of the 122 teams in the four major North American sports leagues.

Behold our second annual ranking of how well the 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB spend their money. We’ve used payroll data (from USA Today,, NBC Sports, and to calculate how much teams spent per win over the last five seasons. (For baseball, we also include the first half of the current season.) We then compared every team against league average, producing a total score we call the efficiency index. The median score for every league is zero. The lower the score, the less a team spent for its wins.

The Texas Rangers are ranked second. The Tampa Bay Bucs are ranked 59th (15th among NFL teams) and the Lightning are 76th (17th among NHL teams).



  1. Sledge says:

    Probably not a huge surprise. Here is a data-point I found interesting. Their survey allows you to change their assumptions for how valuable post-season wins are or how valuable each win above .500 is in their calcuation. You essentially have to make playoff wins worthless in order to knock the Rays out of the top spot.

    • Dave L says:

      Yeah i think to Rays fans it would have been a shock if we were #2.

      We all sort of come to know the when our guys get good they will leave us for "greener" $$ pastures.

      And our free agent pickups are usually guys who have lost their starting jobs elsewhere, and we are the only bidders.

      And we accept that Stu making his tens of millions each year crying that its not more because he gives us playoff contending teams most years which is all small market baseball fans can ask for.

      We certainly get the most wins per $$$ since those 3 at the top implemented thier plan. Its hard to argue with success.

      Those who think any season that doesnt end as a WS Champ is a failure, may disagree but I dont count myself amongst them.

  2. Irishpat says:

    Its a great idea, but horrible approach. The Rays are the obvious #1, not even counting the fact that they play in the toughest division in all sports and in the most unbalanced salary system in all sports.

    But why would you use the Bucs current salary to judge their performance last year? Of course they are going to look bad, but if you look at the 2010 Season, they only spent $60 million to get 10 wins, which would make them great.

    Also football teams are very heavily weighted down because of byes (no playoff victories), and fewer games (single game series as opposed to best of 7).

    Finally postseason baseball teams are much more heavily weighted upwards because fewer make it, meaning less baseball teams are able to collect the bonus postseason wins. Football teams experience it too, but to a lesser extent.

  3. Beazy says:

    "The Rays way", plus it helps having a New York stock exchange financial giant at the helm, bunch of computer whizzes, and JoeMahism ...


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