If you have an extra $3 billion in your piggy bank, you could be the new owner of the New York Yankees.
That’s how much the team is said to be worth on the open market if it was put up for sale. According to two veteran sportswriters, the family of the late George Steinbrenner is less than enamored with Yankees huge payroll and the MLB luxury tax and might consider selling the team that has captured 27 World Series championships and 40 American League pennants.
George Steinbrenner, who passed away in July 2010, bought the Yankees, perhaps the most successful sports franchise of all time, for $8.8 million in 1973 dollars, which by today’s standards is chump change.
According to Michael O’Keefe and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News…
Multiple baseball and finance sources told the Daily News they are hearing that the team the Steinbrenner family has led to seven World Series titles could be put on the block in the wake of the record sale price of $2.175 billion the Los Angeles Dodgers went for in April.
“There has been chatter all around the banking and financial industries in the city for a couple of weeks now,” one high-level baseball source told The News.
The article suggests that Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner “doesn’t share his father’s passion for baseball,” especially given the Yankees massive player payroll, including brother Hank’s agreeing to a $275 million contract with the fading Alex Rodriguez.
Most of America can’t stand the “Evil Empire” either, given that particularly since the mid 1990s, the Yankees incessant free agent signings seemed to be an attempt to buy championships by inserting All-Stars at every position. Yankees management gave the impression that Yankees management thought that only the Yankees can have good players. Not all of these signings panned out, obviously. Under the Steinbrenner ownership, the Yankees won the World Series in 1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009.
Forbes.com suggests, however, that the New York Yankees is actually a good investment:
If you’re the Steinbrenner family, selling the Yankees makes no sense. The partners are making fistfuls of cash through their new stadium and YES Network. Ownership is in the midst of new initiatives such as its Legends Hospitality business. What other asset is going yield the kind of cash – over $400 million in revenue last year – the Yankees do? Would you rather be getting 1.8% interest -and zero fun and perks – from a Treasury Bond?
Hal Steinbrenner and other executives have said in no uncertain terms that there is no truth to the Daily News story. The original version of the Daily News story (which is now apparently scrubbed) indicated that the prestige of owning the New York Yankees was the only reason for the Steinbrenners to keep the team. It also quoted a source, apparently referring to Hal, that “he hates the players and he hates the media.”
Do you think it makes sense for the Steinbrenner family to sell the New York Yankees?