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

Saturday football and volleyball scores

On the football field, the Fitzgerald Hurricanes held Early County to just 3 points to claim the 21-3 win and pick up their third region win of the year. They remain undefeated in class AA region 1. North Atlanta came out on top of a 47-32 barn-burner with Dunwoody to claim their second region win of the season. Whitewater took on Riverdale as the...
College GameDay announces it’s headed to Jacksonville for Georgia-Florida
College GameDay announces it’s headed to Jacksonville for Georgia-Florida

Based on the schedule for next week, the Georgia-Florida game is the biggest game on tap. And now with College GameDay headed to Jacksonville, it almost certainly will be the most talked about national game. The No. 8 Bulldogs take on the No. 11 Florida Gators at 3:30 p.m. on CBS and WSB Radio will also broadcast the game on 95.5 ...
WATCH: Jeremy Pruitt has keys to stop Alabama, but not players
WATCH: Jeremy Pruitt has keys to stop Alabama, but not players

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt had a pretty good idea what it would take to beat Alabama on Saturday, but he didn’t have the team to execute it. “You look at their sideline and look at our sideline,” Pruitt said after the Crimson Tide crushed the Vols, “and they don’t hardly...
Georgia, talented secondary and speedy receivers, best SEC East matchup for Alabama
Georgia, talented secondary and speedy receivers, best SEC East matchup for Alabama

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Somewhere, some time on Saturday, Georgia football coach Kirby Smart was watching the Alabama-Tennessee game. Football is a relationship business, and coaches keep up with one another and the players they recruited. It’s why Florida coach Dan Mullen said he’d watch LSU play his former program at Mississippi...
Tavecchio’s in town to kick it around
Tavecchio’s in town to kick it around

Giorgio Tavecchio has been here and done that before, so it’s not like he’s new as the Falcons kicker except that, well, yeah, he’ll be very new as the Falcons kicker in Monday night’s game against the Giants because his first time didn’t really count. When he lines up to kick field goals and extra points in Mercedes-Benz...
More Stories