Liberty Media, the company which owns the Braves, is a publicly traded firm. In consequence, they’re one in all two groups (the Blue Jays being the opposite) whose books are opened to the general public. This morning, Liberty Media launched 2022 financials. The complete report is accessible courtesy of Investors Observer and chronicled by Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In response to the report, Liberty Media collected a franchise-record $588MM in Braves-related income final 12 months. That’s a $20MM leap over 2021’s earlier franchise-record determine, which the company attributed to elevated ticket demand and extra retail on the heels of Atlanta’s World Sequence championship.
The franchise’s working revenue earlier than debt and amortization (OIBDA), alternatively, was down relative to final season. Its $71MM OIBDA was down from final 12 months’s $104MM determine. The company reported an working lack of $15MM after reporting $20MM in working revenue through the prior season. Nonetheless, these figures do not embrace income from the Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use growth complicated adjoining to Truist Park and owned by Liberty Media. Liberty Media reported $28MM in further web working revenue and $53MM in whole revenues associated to that undertaking.
Concerning the associated figures to the Braves franchise particularly, Liberty Media attributed the comparatively decrease OIBDA and working revenue to loftier income sharing bills and a better participant payroll. Certainly, Atlanta’s Opening Day payroll checked in round a franchise-record $178MM in 2022 after sitting at roughly $131MM in 2021, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
Nonetheless, one other vital change for the group between 2021 and ’22 was the membership’s postseason fortune. The Braves, in fact, gained the championship within the former season and benefited from eight playoff residence video games. Their defeat in final 12 months’s NL Division Sequence stored them to 2 postseason residence contests. In consequence, Liberty Media reported considerably decrease fourth quarter revenues in 2022 than they’d the prior season. Barring a repeat World Sequence run, the franchise’s playoff-related revenue all the time appeared more likely to regress.
The Braves are coming off a really quiet offseason, at the very least from a free agent perspective. Atlanta acquired catcher Sean Murphy and promptly signed him to a six-year, $73MM extension. That was their solely notable funding of the offseason. The membership’s solely different main league acquisitions have been relievers Joe Jiménez and Lucas Luetge (mixed $4.315MM in arbitration salaries), low-cost free agent offers for outfielder Jordan Luplow ($1.4MM) and reliever Nick Anderson ($875K if within the majors) and trades for pre-arbitration gamers like Eli White and Sam Hilliard.
Atlanta noticed a high free agent depart for the second consecutive offseason, watching Dansby Swanson signal with the Cubs a 12 months after Freddie Freeman went to the Dodgers. Regardless of the pretty quiet winter, they’re simply on observe to once more set a franchise excessive in participant spending. The Braves will go into 2023 with a payroll within the $199MM vary, as calculated by Roster Resource. They give the impression of being set to pay the luxurious tax for the primary time in Liberty Media’s possession tenure.
That’s a mirrored image of the staggering variety of contracts already on the books, a lot of them early-career extensions. No different group has had the identical form of success signing key gamers to long-term offers shortly after their MLB debuts. These sorts of pacts are typically backloaded to roughly mirror how a participant’s earnings would have progressed by way of arbitration. Not coincidentally, Atlanta already has upwards of $90MM on the books by the 2028 marketing campaign.