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Angels Increase in Value

Forbes estimates the team's worth at $368million, more than twice what Moreno paid; Dodgers are worth $482 million.

April 21, 2006|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

The Angels staked another financial claim as one of baseball's big-market teams Thursday when Forbes magazine estimated that Arte Moreno has doubled the value of the team in his three years of ownership.

The Dodgers are still considered a more valuable property, with their estimated value of $482 million trailing only the New York Yankees at $1 billion, the Boston Red Sox at $617 million and the New York Mets at $604 million. The Angels rank 13th, at $368 million.

In 2003, Moreno bought the Angels for $183.5 million -- $170 million for the team, the rest in debt assumption.

The Angels recently agreed with Fox Sports Net on a ten-year, $500-million contract that will more than double the team's annual television revenue this season and rise thereafter. After the first consecutive division championships in club history, the Angels have capped season ticket sales at 31,000 and set records for sponsorship revenue.

"He has really done an amazing job with the franchise," Forbes associate editor Kurt Badenhausen said. "To double the value in three years without getting a new stadium is an incredible feat."

In the foreseeable future, Badenhausen said, the Angels cannot catch the Dodgers in franchise value. The Angels can opt out of their stadium lease in 2016.

"With a new stadium, all bets are off," he said.

In the third year of baseball's expanded revenue-sharing program, all but five teams turned a profit, according to Forbes. The Dodgers made $13.4 million on revenues of $189 million, while the Angels lost $2.6 million on revenues of $167 million.

Teams do not release data to Forbes. In January, Moreno said the Angels came "very close" to turning a profit last year, on revenues of $185 million. Dodger chief operating officer Marty Greenspun said the Forbes numbers were incorrect but would not provide the correct ones. He confirmed the Dodgers made money last season.

Under Fox, the Dodgers lost as much as $50 million a year. The losses have stopped in two seasons under Frank McCourt, with revenue jumping in sponsorships, television rights, luxury seating and general ticket sales.

"McCourt has taken advantage of some revenue opportunities that News Corp. let slide," Badenhausen said.

The Dodgers' player payroll increased about $15 million this season. Greenspun said McCourt plans to return operating profits into team operations and stadium upgrades.

McCourt bought the Dodgers largely on credit, and Forbes estimated the debt at 87% of franchise value, or $419 million. Greenspun called that number wildly inflated and "not even close."

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What they're worth

*--* 1. New York (AL), $1,026 16. Texas, $353 2. Boston, $617 17. Cleveland, $352 3. New York (NL), $604 18. Chicago (AL), $315 4. Dodgers, $482 19. Arizona, $305 5. Chicago (NL), $448 20. Colorado, $298 6. Washington, $440 21. Detroit, $292 7. St. Louis, $429 22. Toronto, $286 8. Seattle, $428 23. Cincinnati, $274 9. Philadelphia, $424 24. Pittsburgh, $250 10. Houston, $416 25. Kansas City, $239 11. San Francisco, $410 26. Milwaukee, $235 12. Atlanta, $405 27. Oakland, $234 13. Angels, $368 28. Florida, $226 14. Baltimore, $359 29. Minnesota, $216 15. San Diego, $354 30. Tampa Bay, $209

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