Diamondbacks move up 2 spots in Forbes’ 2019 MLB valuations

Apr 11, 2019, 8:11 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke runs the bases after hitting a home run during the sixth inning ...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke runs the bases after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)
(AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are the 18th-most valuable MLB franchise and grew 7 percent year-over-year from 2018 to 2019, according to Forbes’ annual MLB valuations.

Worth $1.29 billion, they moved up two spots from the 2018 edition of the rankings after being valued at $1.21 billion last year.

The D-backs have an estimated revenue of $275 million and operating income of $10 million.

After posting an operating income of $34 million last year, Forbes notes that the decrease is related to the team’s agreement this summer with Maricopa County, which put maintenance and control responsibilities of the team’s home, Chase Field, on the team rather than the county.

That deal is part of the Diamondbacks’ ability to more easily search for a new home as it considers leaving Chase Field or renovating it, according to Forbes.

A cause of consternation for the Diamondbacks is the money from non-baseball events at Chase Field goes towards the ballpark’s maintenance rather than into the pocket of the owners.

The deal (with the county) gives the Diamondbacks control of stadium maintenance and allows it to spend $35 million in repair money on a new scoreboard, air conditioning equipment and other items. The Diamondbacks also would take over booking concerts and events. In short, this deal much better aligns the interests of the team with the economics of the ballpark.

Arizona’s $1.29 million valuation breaks down as such, per Forbes: $533 million in revenue shared between MLB teams; $454 million from the city and market size; $185 million attributed to Chase Field; and $118 million for its brand.

The average baseball team is now worth $1.78 billion.

At the top of the mountain in terms of value are the New York Yankees ($4.6 billion), Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.3 billion), Boston Red Sox ($3.2 billion), Chicago Cubs ($3.1 billion) and San Francisco Giants ($3 billion).

The least valuable team in MLB is the Miami Marlins, which posted no value increase since last year’s Forbes valuation and sits at $1 billion. The team also posted a loss of $22 million.

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Diamondbacks move up 2 spots in Forbes’ 2019 MLB valuations