The Tampa Bay Rays are now worth $625 million according to the latest valuations of Major League Baseball franchises released by

The value of the Rays, who are still ranked last among all 30 teams, jumped 29% from last year when the franchise was valued at $485 million. The average MLB team is now worth $1.2 billion, a 48% increase over last year.

More importantly for Stuart Sternberg and the other owners, the value of the franchise has more than tripled since he took over as the principal owner in late 2005.




  1. Gus says:

    Buy low, sell high.

    I'm not sure that Forbes graph is right on the value. Stu's group bought 48% of the team in 2004 for $60M or so. Has consolidated ownership some since then, but still has limited partners (Vince!) I believe.

    But that means he has grown his initial invstment 5-fold since then, plus been in the black at least 8 of the 10 seasons (probably all 10) since he took control.

    Many of these profits come from the Tampa Bay community who bought his tickets and watched Rays broadcasts, and the taxpayers of Pinellas County who afforded him essentially a rent-free place to operate his business. Would be nice if once -- just once -- he ackowledged he's made a great business venture in that community and that the community should be thanked (not vaporized).


  2. Woodrow744 says:

    Mr. Sternberg has made numerous improvements to the Trop (out of his pockets, deep though they are) and has turned a joke of a franchise into a respected threat in the AL East. Yeah, it's fun to hate owners - they have ALL THAT MONEY - but, I certainly think he has been very honest with the Tampa Bay fan base. He has been very consistent with his comments regarding the future of the Rays in this market. I believe he wants to make things work here long term, but you know those businessmen……they also want a profit. If you believe Forbes, he has done that. If you see 9,000 people at the Fruit Dome two weeks into the season, don't get your hopes up.

    • Gus says:

      "very honest with the Tampa Bay fan base."

      1. From 2011, he seems to be lest than honest about profitabilty here:

      2. After the playoff loss to Texas, that MLB is going to "vaporize" the franchise that is now worth $600M (who is writing that check?)

      He is a good owner in many respects; but his cries of poverty and blaming the stadium when he had a 500% growth in valuation and consistently is in the black, well you might see that as being "very honest" but I don't.

      • Woodrow744 says:

        We have a difference of opinion, but that's okay. Owners of teams may be "in the black" but they won't hesitate to make more if they can. I won't bore you with the link, but Cork wrote an interesting article in Business Insider recently, highlighting the current net worth of the St. Louis Rams ($950M) vs. what might become the L. A. Rams ($2.5+B). While Rams owner Stan Kroenke might get hatemail in St. Louis, does it surprise anyone a savvy businessman would opt to make more money?

        • Gus says:

          The ability to fill an empty market belongs to MLB collectively and not to any individual owner. Stu bought the Tampa bay franchise. No baseball owner has moved a franchise in 43 years. Baseball has an antitrust exemption that football does not have. The reason Stu hasn't tried to sell? No business he can afford to buy (no NFL for Stu) has returns like MLB. Because no business is subsidized by the public like pro sports is subsidized.

          • michael says:

            " No business he can afford to buy (no NFL for Stu) has returns like MLB." really? assuming $145M was all paid in 2004, today's valuation of $625M show an annual rate of return of barely 14%. even if the acquisition date was 2005, the compounded growth is slightly less than 16% per year. smart investors like stu (and jeff winik), made their fortunes by producing MUCH higher returns on their investments.

  3. Dave L says:

    Its funny how the baseball media falls into the skewed logic of the owners.

    Sternberg is doing incredibly well on his Rays MLB franchise investment.

    But since he isnt doing fantastically wildly incredibly well on his MLB franchise investment as some other owners are in more lucrative markets he needs our pity.

    No thanks.

    Thanks for producing a good baseball team over your tenure for sure.

    Dont buy your woe is me in the financial realm posture, however Stu.

    Culverhouse served the same glass of whine for many years then sold the team for 10x what he paid.

    Im always amused that toady sports journalists peddle the poverty crap owners and their minions feed them to maintain 'access'

    Stu is an excellent owner because he gave us a winning franchise and Hugh was lump of human waste as an owner in all aspects but the underlying fiscal narrative was the same and a joke.

  4. edward williams says:

    Stu is a good owner, I won't deny that, he has brought excitement to the team, but no world series. Unfortunately there is a lot more to bringing a world series than just spending money, luck has something to do with it. But so does resigning players and going out and bringing in players that may cost a lot but are going to help the team in the long run. I admit I was shocked that they resigned longo, pleasantly shocked, matt moore also , and I have to say that to spend the money on price may have been to steep, but if I am correct they only signed one free agent this year. They complained last year when the payroll was the highest , 80 million I believe. So what do you do, as a fan I get aggravated when I see other teams resigning or spending money on their future superstars. Instead every offseason we have to wonder who is staying and who is going. I know we can't tell a owner how much to spend , after all it is a business and you want to make as much money as you can. I believe that there should be a floor and a cap. Again I do like stu and what they have done so far , but I really wish that they would open up the pocket book a little more . Is that asking to much ? Anyway GO RAYS !!!!!!!!!!!


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