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The Dodgers expect you to pay twice the price for half the product

Feb 22, 2010, 8:29 AM EDT

The L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin reports that a document setting forth the Dodgers’ financial plans was leaked in connection with the McCourt divorce. The document, which was created by the Dodgers in order to solicit Chinese investors in the team and/or a soccer club Frank McCourt wants to buy, sets out the following:

  • The Dodgers anticipate their revenue to rise from from $295 million in 2008 to $529 million in 2018;
  • Anticipate their average ticket price to rise from $29.40 in 2007 to $53.50 in 2018; and
  • Anticipate their payroll to rise from $123 million in 2008 to . . . $125 million in 2018.

Projecting anything out 8-10 years is something of a fool’s game, but even if those exact numbers don’t come to pass, a Frank McCourt-owned Dodgers team at least intends to nearly double ticket prices, nearly double revenue and keep payroll flat as a pancake over the next decade. For comparison, the Dodgers’ 1998 payroll was a shade over $61 million. If they had stuck to a similar plan starting then, today the Dodgers would have roughly the same payroll as the Oakland Athletics.

With the exception of some amount of deferred money, Manny Ramirez falls off after this season, so there is some room to grow to get “back” to the $125 million range. But you have to replace his production at some price. And, at the very least, plan for massive raises to Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw going forward. How that gets done — while addressing other needs and accounting for the inevitable inflation in player salaries — is unclear to say the least. 

Unless of course the Dodgers’ plan is to charge twice the price for half the product and still expect people to keep showing up at the ballpark.

  1. Howell - Feb 22, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Did you really mean 2010 there and not 2018 on the player payroll? Isn’t the payroll in 2010 more like 107 million?

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 22, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Sorry, Howell. Typo. That was supposed to be 2018.

  3. Old Gator - Feb 22, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    I’ll be there on the days when Jamie sings the Star Spangled Boner. I know she can’t flat her fifths but who cares? We can still knock a few back together and plan our vacations in Tahiti when she’s finished skinning hubby.

  4. John Dillinger - Feb 22, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    I would imagine the union would find this filing interesting.

  5. JoeT - Feb 22, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    Unfortunately, in LA we have some writers on the LA Times whose job it seems is to tear down and make fun of the local teams. And Bill Shaikin is the type that would rather say something bad about teams and players than something positive. It seems that these writers have readers that don’t care about sports but are interested in some kind of dumb, made up, gossipy stories. To believe anything these people write is foolish, just as it’s foolish to believe the numbers that are thrown around in divorce court. Inflation will naturally increase some numbers between now and 2018 and teams have to increase payroll in order to compete. A person can get into Dodger stadium now for about 8 bucks. The Dodgers were more successful last year than 90% of the other MLB teams and expect that to continue. I expect Shaikin and the no talent writers of the Times to continue writing garbage stories because that is all they know how to do.

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