Major League Baseball may be viewed as a declining TV product, with ESPN and Fox Sports slicing the amount of coverage the sport gets on their networks, but it is still a huge moneymaker in terms of revenue.
Today we will look at the 10 teams that generated the most money in 2018, and how they are doing as we head into the summer months.
10. Philadelphia Phillies- $341 million
After bottoming out in 2017, the Phillies seemed to be on the upswing last year. They were just a game under .500 and turned that season into a profitable one.
Philadelphia is known for its die-hard fans, and the Phillies averaged over 27,000 fans per home game in 2018. The addition of Bryce Harper has been a huge revenue booster for 2019, so expect them to be on this list again next year.
9. Atlanta Braves- $344 million
Atlanta has gone from one of the bottom dwellers in baseball to a sneaky World Series contender. Last year’s 90 win season saw them win the NL East, and the boost in playoff revenue helped them land in our top 10. They averaged nearly 77% stadium capacity for their home games last season.
8. Los Angeles Angels- $348 million
Mike Trout is arguably the greatest player of this generation, and he is the driving force behind the Los Angeles Angels revenue. He has been an MVP and selected to numerous all-star games. The Angels were sixth in average attendance in 2018.
7. St. Louis Cardinals- $356 million
The Cardinals have been a popular baseball team since the ’70s, so it comes as no surprise they made our top-10 list. After posting an 88 win season in 2018, St. Louis missed out on the playoffs but averaging almost 96% in home game attendance will surely keep any team’s revenue numbers sky high.
6. Houston Astros- $368 million
After winning the 2017 World Series, Houston was the team to beat during 2018. The Astros were red hot the entire regular season, posting 103 wins. Led by Jose Altuve and an excellent pitching staff, Houston has become one of the most exciting teams in baseball year-in and year-out.
5. Chicago Cubs- $452 million
Kris Bryant is the popular face for the Chicago Cubs, but this is a fanbase that has grown with the city since the early 20th century. The Cubs were one of the best teams in the National League last season, finishing a game behind the division champion Milwaukee Brewers.
4. San Francisco Giants- $462 million
San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in America, so seeing them generate so much revenue after having a horrible season isn’t surprising. The Giants have won multiple World Series titles in this decade, so the team is still popular, and they are currently sitting at 37-47 this season.
3. Boston Red Sox- $516 million
The 2018 World Series champions put up a season for the ages. They led the league in wins and were dominant during their run to the championship. Led by Mookie Betts, the Red Sox should be in line for another hugely profitable season in 2019.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers- $549 million
The Dodgers have one of the best pitchers of the last 30 seasons in Clay Kershaw, and his ability to fan 8-10 batters per game helped the Dodgers average over 47,000 attendees per game last year.
1. New York Yankees- $668 million
Who else could be at No. 1? The Yankees have been a cash cow for Major League Baseball since George Steinbrenner became an owner in the ’80s, and their YES Network contract (along with increasing prices in NYC) are the main reasons New York is at the top of the list.
MLB teams we expected to see
After going over this list the thing that stands out the most for us is Milwaukee not being on the list. Winning the NL Central, along with being a city associated with beer, should have been more than enough to get them into the top-10. If you want more great content from around the Majors, be sure to check out our MLB section as we get ready for the all-star game.