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Some teams worth less than $95-million: survey

On the one hand, the $95-million price tag for Major League Baseball's two newest teams is a bargain compared to what some franchises are worth, according to figures to be published in the July 9 issue of Financial World magazine. But when you add the estimated $40-million in start-up costs facing baseball's expansion winners, the $135-million total will buy you any one of 20 existing big-league teams. In fact, it might almost buy you two of them: The Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners together are worth an estimated $145.5-million.

With the exception of the San Francisco Giants, at $105-million, the four existing teams deemed likeliest to relocate _ Astros, Pirates, Expos and Indians _ are appraised at less than $95-million.

Now consider the $50-million the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators are shelling out to join the National Hockey League. According to the magazine, only six of 21 NHL teams are worth more.

The only Tampa Bay team on the list of 102 NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball teams is, of course, the Buccaneers. Financial World places the value of the Bucs at $114.1-million. That is 38th overall and 23rd in the 28-team NFL, ahead of San Diego, Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and New England.

Financial World said it "employed a number of top industry appraisers, team owners and league officials" to assemble its findings, using a complex system involving revenues (including gate receipts, radio, television and cable, concessions, parking and advertising), stadium lease arrangements, player salaries, other operating expenses and the operating income or loss.

The two most valuable franchises, the magazine reports, are baseball's New York Yankees ($225-million) and football's Miami Dolphins ($205-million).

The Yankees are in the nation's biggest media market and have lucrative over-the-air and cable TV packages, putting them at the top despite being only ninth in gate receipts and 14th in stadium revenue.

The Dolphins are in a smaller market, but the Robbie family owns 50 percent of the stadium and grounds as well as the team.

At the bottom, hockey's Minnesota North Stars and Winnipeg Jets are valued at $30-million apiece.

The New England Patriots, at $99.8-million, are the only NFL team valued under $100-million, and they are 49th overall. The Montreal Canadiens, at $59.6-million, are the top NHL team but only 65th overall. Fifteen of the NHL's 21 teams are among the list's bottom 22. This is because the NFL shares equally in a billion-dollar TV package while the NHL has no network contract.

What does the Bucs' ranking say about the Tampa Bay market?

Not necessarily anything.

The Buccaneers, for starters, said nothing, declining to comment "because to comment would be to comment on the validity of the (Financial World) story," Bucs public relations director Rick Odioso said. "The Buccaneers disagree as to whether we're 23rd to begin with."

But Mel Lowell, executive vice president of the Lightning, had plenty to say about the report _ very little of it complimentary.

For starters, he mentioned the New York Rangers, whose value, according to the report, is $54.4-million. Lowell was previously the vice president of finance and business affairs for the Rangers, Knicks and Madison Square Garden Center. "Go up to New York and say, "I'll be a hero. I'll offer you $60-million for the Rangers,' " Lowell said. "They'll laugh you out of the building. About 10 years ago the Garden and Gulf & Western were planning to sell the teams and we turned down offers of more than $100-million for each."

As for the Bucs' listed value, Lowell suggested: "Maybe if they won some more games, their gate receipts would go up. Maybe if they changed their uniforms, their concession sales would improve. I think if Hugh (Culverhouse) wanted to sell the Bucs, he'd ask for a lot more than $114-million, and he'd probably get it," Lowell added.

The report, he said, says nothing about a specific market. "Look at the L.A. Lakers ($200-million) and the L.A. Clippers ($42.9-million)," Lowell said. "Look who's on top _ the Yankees, the Dolphins, the Orioles, the Packers. What's with Green Bay? The team is high-profile and has a very dedicated following, and those teams are worth more.

"For 20 years the Giants wallowed in mediocrity and still had 75,000 people elbow to elbow in the snow at Yale Bowl. You could put 20 monkeys in Ranger uniforms with sticks and skates on the ice and they'd still get 17,400 (a sellout) a game."

BASEBALL

American League

Franchise Revenue Expenses Income Value

($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil)

NY Yankees 98.0 73.5 24.5 225.0

Baltimore 47.9 38.3 9.6 200.0

Boston 68.5 56.2 12.3 180.0

Toronto 77.5 63.6 13.9 178.3

White Sox 49.0 40.2 8.8 125.0

Kansas City 53.2 63.0 -9.8 122.4

Oakland 57.9 45.5 12.4 115.8

California 48.6 39.9 8.75 102.1

Texas 50.3 41.2 9.1 100.6

Detroit 38.0 32.9 5.1 83.6

Minnesota 38.6 38.0 0.6 81.1

Milwaukee 38.4 34.5 3.9 80.6

Cleveland 34.8 45.3 -10.5 75.0

Seattle 34.0 37.1 -3.1 71.4

National League

Franchise Revenue Expenses Income Value

($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil)

Los Angeles 64.4 56.8 7.62 200.0

NY Mets 81.1 65.3 15.9 200.0

Philadelphia 61.9 50.8 11.1 130.0

St. Louis 55.8 45.3 10.5 128.3

Cubs 50.3 41.1 9.24 125.0

Cincinnati 48.7 37.7 11.0 102.3

Houston 40.0 53.5 -13.5 92.0

Pittsburgh 41.1 41.8 -0.7 82.2

Atlanta 35.4 27.6 7.8 74.3

San Fran 50.0 41.0 9.0 105.0

San Diego 47.2 38.7 8.5 99.1

Montreal 35.3 28.9 6.4 74.1

NHL

Franchise Revenue Expenses Income Value

($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil)

Montreal 28.4 22.6 5.8 59.6

Boston 28.7 19.4 9.3 57.4

NY Rangers 27.2 22.4 4.8 54.4

Calgary 26.0 22.2 3.8 52.0

NY Islandrs 28.8 18.5 10.3 51.8

Edmonton 25.8 21.5 4.3 51.6

Hartford 25.2 21.1 4.1 45.4

Toronto 23.8 19.8 4.0 45.2

Chicago 23.3 16.6 6.7 45.0

LA Kings 24.3 22.6 1.7 45.0

Quebec 25.0 25.0 0.0 45.0

Detroit 20.8 16.2 6.8 43.7

Philadelphia 21.4 19.2 2.2 42.8

Vancouver 23.1 22.0 1.1 41.6

Pittsburgh 16.6 16.0 0.6 41.5

Washington 20.0 18.3 1.7 38.0

Buffalo 18.5 14.1 4.4 37.0

New Jersey 16.8 16.0 0.8 35.0

St. Louis 15.8 15.1 0.7 31.6

Minnesota 11.1 16.0 -5.0 30.0

Winnipeg 14.4 14.9 -0.5 30.0

NFL

Franchise Revenue Expenses Income Value

($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil)

Miami 62.4 49.9 12.5 205.0

Green Bay 42.2 36.7 5.5 200.0

Dallas 52.5 37.3 15.2 180.0

N.Y. Giants 50.5 38.9 11.6 150.0

San Francisco 51.7 46.5 5.2 150.0

Cleveland 51.8 41.4 10.4 145.0

Philadelphia 50.4 42.5 7.9 141.1

L.A. Raiders 46.2 35.6 10.6 135.0

L.A. Rams 49.4 38.0 11.4 135.0

Seattle 46.4 41.8 4.6 129.9

Chicago 50.4 38.8 11.6 126.0

Buffalo 48.3 37.8 10.5 125.6

Cincinnati 44.0 35.2 8.8 125.0

N.Y. Jets 44.3 35.4 8.9 125.0

Washington 45.5 35.0 10.5 125.0

New Orleans 47.7 38.2 9.5 124.0

Kansas City 43.7 35.0 8.7 122.4

Phoenix 46.1 35.4 10.7 119.9

Houston 45.9 39.9 6.0 119.3

Minnesota 45.8 36.6 9.2 119.1

Indianapolis 44.6 35.7 8.9 116.0

Detroit 44.5 35.6 8.9 115.7

Tampa Bay 43.9 35.1 8.8 114.1

San Diego 43.6 39.2 4.4 113.4

Denver 45.3 36.2 9.1 113.3

Atlanta 43.4 38.9 4.5 112.8

Pittsburgh 43.2 33.3 9.9 112.3

New England 39.9 35.9 4.0 99.8

NBA

Franchise Revenue Expenses Income Value

($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil) ($ Mil)

LA Lakers 62.2 32.0 30.3 200.0

Boston 30.7 21.9 8.8 180.0

Detroit 47.3 24.0 23.3 150.0

Chicago 27.4 20.1 7.39 100.0

New York 25.6 22.2 3.4 100.0

Phoenix 20.7 16.8 3.9 99.0

Philadelphia 20.4 16.3 4.1 75.0

Cleveland 22.6 16.5 6.15 61.1

Orlando 22.5 13.3 9.2 60.8

Portland 21.4 20.0 1.4 59.9

Charlotte 22.8 16.3 6.4 59.2

Miami 21.7 14.2 7.5 58.6

Houston 22.3 19.0 3.5 58.0

Dallas 20.9 18.2 2.7 54.4

Atlanta 19.1 17.9 1.2 53.5

Milwaukee 19.1 14.8 4.3 53.5

Minnesota 19.0 14.3 4.7 51.2

Golden St. 19.5 18.4 1.1 50.7

Sacramento 18.9 13.7 5.2 49.1

San Antonio 17.2 16.9 0.3 46.5

Utah 16.0 15.1 0.9 44.9

LA Clippers 16.5 15.3 1.1 42.9

New Jersey 16.4 14.6 1.8 42.6

Denver 15.6 17.4 -1.8 40.6

Washington 13.9 16.3 -2.4 37.5

Seattle 13.8 15.6 -1.8 37.3

Indiana 12.8 16.3 -3.5 31.6

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