Forbes magazine on Wednesday estimated the Tampa Bay Rays have the lowest value among the 30 Major League Baseball teams.
The New York Yankees have the highest value for the 16th straight year at $2.3 billion, and the average for an MLB team increased by 23 percent in the last year to $744 million, the magazine said.
The Rays came up last with a value of $451 million. Tampa Bay took in $167 million worth of revenue in 2012, Forbes reported. However, the magazine noted the team’s ability to overcome the financial hardship on the field.
“The Rays have won 90 or more games in four of the past five seasons despite one of the lowest payrolls in baseball,” the magazine said.
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has said the team cannot remain competitive playing at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where the Rays have a contract to play until 2027. Last season, the Rays ranked last in attendance among MLB teams at 1,559,681.
"The status quo is simply not sustainable," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said about the stadium in January.
The Rays were worth $6 million less than another “small-market” club, Kansas City, second lowest on the list at $457 million. The other three teams at the bottom of Forbes’ list were Oakland ($468 million), Pittsburgh ($479 million) and Miami ($520 million).
The magazine said the Yankees’ value increased from $1.85 billion last year and took in $471 million in revenue.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are second in MLB at $1.62 billion — nearly $400 million below the price paid for the team last May when a group headed by Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson bought the franchise from Frank McCourt.
Forbes valued Boston third at $1.3 billion, followed by the Chicago Cubs ($1 billion), Philadelphia ($893 million), the New York Mets ($811 million), San Francisco ($786 million), Texas ($764 million), the Los Angeles Angels ($718 million) and St. Louis ($716 million).
The Forbes’ list is at http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/#page:1_sort:0_direction:asc_search: