Many baseball fans, Braves Country included, have dubbed Atlanta cheap because they’ve let franchise guys like Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson walk in free agency. And it could get even worse when Max Fried’s contract is up.
I’m here to tell you those conversations are pointless. The Braves are spending more money than ever and have committed over half a billion in contract extensions to Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Spencer Strider, and Michael Harris II.
Unfortunately, a report from Forbes has sparked more outrage. According to an earnings announcement, Braves Holdings posted record revenue of $588 million last year, of which $535 million was generated by the Atlanta Braves baseball team and $53 million from The Battery Atlanta.
The announcement credited “increased capacity and ticket demand at regular season and spring training games, World Series-related retail revenue and additional special events held at the ballpark, including concerts.”
The uptick in revenue has caused fans to question why the club couldn’t retain its best players — Swanson and Freeman. It doesn’t help when an Atlanta Journal-Constitution column comes out titled “Braves post record revenues in 2022” without including the Braves Holdings operating income — earnings before depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, separately reported litigation settlements, restructuring, acquisition and other related costs and impairment charges — came in at $71 million, 36% below last year.
That decline in profitability isn’t something that is always mentioned with record revenues because it’s not as sexy. Braves Country, don’t be fooled by these revenue figures; profits fell. The decline in profit is a result of higher player salaries and other expenses.
The Braves are printing cash, but they’re re-investing into the team. They aren’t just putting it in their pockets.
Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire
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