SunTrust Park continued to pay big dividends for the Atlanta Braves in its first season, Braves parent Liberty Media disclosed Thursday.
Liberty Braves Group took in $185 million in revenue in the third quarter of 2017, an increase of $76 million from the July-September quarter of 2016, when the team was playing at Turner Field.After expenses, that produced a profit (adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization) of $48 million for the quarter.
For the first nine months of 2017, the Braves have taken in $366 million in revenue — already $104 million more than in all of 2016 and more than $100 million higher than in any of the previous three seasons. The Braves revenue for 2016 was $262 million, $243 million in 2015 and $250 million in 2014.
Braves profits (adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization) for the first three months of 2017 is $46 million. That’s $75 million for the six months from April to September, minus a $29 million loss from January through March.
The third-quarter figures included revenue and expenses from 41 home games, compared to 35 home games in 2016.
“The Atlanta Braves new SunTrust Park is living up to its potential, and we saw meaningful increases across the board in revenue,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO. Liberty said ticket sales, concessions, corporate sales, suites and premium seat fees all increased during the third quarter.
The club, one of the few publicly traded sports franchises in the world, paid “stock-based compensation” of $33 million during the third quarter, up from just $2 million in 2016. Liberty Media owns the team, but in 2016 created a tracking stock to mirror the club’s financial performance.
Liberty also disclosed that, as of September 30, 2017, approximately $718 million had been spent on the new ballpark, of which approximately $390 million of funding was provided by Cobb County and related entities and $328 million provided by the Braves. Approximately $398 million had been spent on The Battery mixed-use development (including $7 million of cost towards future development phases. The Braves have provided $364 million of this funding, of which approximately $188 million was contributed in equity and approximately $176 million in debt.Total debt attributed to the Braves Group increased by $74 million primarily as a result of additional borrowings for funding the ballpark and mixed-use development.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle November 9, 2017