Liberty Media reveals Braves’ financial results; revenue up 70% in quarter

The Braves capped their first season at SunTrust Park by posting a 70-percent increase in revenue during the July-through-September quarter, according to financial results disclosed Thursday by team owner Liberty Media. 

The Braves’ revenue for the quarter was $185 million, up from $109 million in the same period the previous year, Liberty said in its third-quarter financial report. 

The increase “was primarily ... driven by the Braves’ move to their new ballpark,” the team’s Colorado-based owner said. “Ticket sales, concessions, corporate sales, suites and premium-seat fees all increased during the third quarter.” 

SunTrust Park "is living up to its potential,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media’s president and CEO.

A larger number of home games in the quarter (41) than in the same period the year before at Turner Field (35) also contributed to the revenue increase.

The Braves brought in revenue of $5 million in this year’s first quarter and $176 million in the second quarter, according to previous filings by Liberty. The third-quarter result brings the Braves’ revenue for the year to $366 million through Sept. 30, up 50 percent from $244 million in the first nine months of last year.  

Expenses also have risen, but Liberty said the Braves’ operating profit before depreciation and amortization – a key measure of a pro sports franchise’s economic performance -- soared to $48 million in the July-through-September quarter, up from $16 million in the same period in 2016. Those figures exclude executives’ stock-based compensation. 

After factoring in depreciation and amortization ($24 million, up from $12 million in the same period last year) and stock-based compensation ($33 million, up from $2 million), the Braves showed a $9 million loss for the third quarter, Liberty said. 

The jump in stock compensation was “due to an increase in the estimated value of the Braves, combined with the continued vesting of outstanding awards,” Liberty said.

The company didn’t specify which executives received stock compensation.

While SunTrust Park and the adjacent mixed-use development, The Battery Atlanta, are driving the Braves’ revenue and franchise value higher, the organization has taken on considerable debt for construction.

Liberty Media Chief Financial Officer Mark Carleton said Thursday that the Braves carried debt of $585 million as of Sept. 30. That is an increase of $74 million since June 30, which Liberty said was “primarily a result of additional borrowings for funding the ballpark and mixed-use development.”

As of Sept. 30, approximately $718 million had been spent on the stadium, “of which approximately $390 million was provided by Cobb County and related entities and $328 million provided by the Braves,” Liberty said.

In addition, approximately $398 million had been spent on The Battery, with the Braves responsible for $364 million and joint-venture partners responsible for the rest.

The Braves are one of the world’s few pro sports franchises with publicly traded stock -- a tracking stock Liberty issued last year to allow investors to buy and sell shares in the team separate from the rest of the company. That requires the quarterly disclosure of financial information that other teams tend to keep secret.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Morehouse beats Clark Atlanta 72-67 to win SIAC regular season title
Morehouse beats Clark Atlanta 72-67 to win SIAC regular season title

The cross-campus rematch didn’t disappoint.  For the second time this month, the No. 20 Clark Atlanta Panthers and No. 9 Morehouse Maroon Tigers squared off in another epic match in this historic rivalry. The Maroon Tigers entered the game with a chance to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference East Division title for the first...
Miller Grove 79, Buford 75
Miller Grove 79, Buford 75

Maurice Harvey’s leg was cramping so bad that he could hardly walk to the locker room after Miller Grove’s game on Thursday. But after scoring a career-high 30 points, there was no way the junior was going to miss a few minutes of post-game celebration.  Harvey was the offensive spark for the No. 3-ranked Wolverines all night as they...
Everything you need to know about Friday’s Braves game
Everything you need to know about Friday’s Braves game

Baseball is back. The Braves play their game Friday, albeit a spring training game. Here’s everything you need to know:  Opponent: New York Mets Game time: 1:10 p.m. Site: Port St. Lucie, Fla. TV: None Radio: 1340 AM and 103.7 FM  Pitching for the Braves: Matt Wisler, Chase Whitley, Sam Freeman, Rex Brothers and others. Braves prospects...
Class AAAA boys: Upson-Lee 52, Salem 44

The name of the gym and the 59-game winning streak?  Salem wasn’t fazed.  The Seminoles brought a 21-6 record and a slew of perimeter-oriented big players to The Castle, and some confidence.  They had the overflow crowd buzzing, a little nervously, with a lead after a quarter. “This is a great program,” Salem head coach...
Photos: Morehouse edges rival Clark Atlanta again in basketball
Photos: Morehouse edges rival Clark Atlanta again in basketball

Atlanta University Center schools Morehouse and Clark Atlanta met in basketball again Thursday night. Morehouse prevailed again, 72-67. The AJC’s Hyosub Shin was on hand to chronicle the game with photos. Take a look at the photo gallery above. The SIAC schools met Feb. 8 at Clark Atlanta and Morehouse prevailed that time too, 97-96 in triple...
More Stories