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Dodgers' sale increased valuations of MLB teams by 35%

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Notice to the 29 other major league baseball clubs: Gushing thank-you notes to the Dodgers can be addressed to Guggenheim Baseball Management, 1000 Elysian Park Ave, Los Angeles CA 90012.

A small token of your appreciation would probably be welcomed, but really, is quite unnecessary.

For all the shock and awe that rippled through the league after the Dodgers paid a record $2.15 billion to purchase the Dodgers last year, one thing was certain: the Dodgers had increased the value of every other team in baseball in the process.

Exactly how much was, and remains, subject to debate, but one new study indicates it is significant.

Bloomberg Billionaires has a new report that values teams 35% higher than the last ranking by Forbes in January, a ranking which itself had jumped 23% from 2012.

Bloomberg said 10 teams are worth over $1 billion, led by the Yankees at $3.3 billion – a cool billion higher than Forbes’ last estimate. Bloomberg has the Dodgers second at $2.1 billion, while Forbes’ last ranking had them at $1.6 billion.

Of course, the year before the Dodgers sold, Forbes valued the Dodgers at $800 million, so it’s not like too much credence can be placed in these rankings.

Matt Miller, editor of Bloomberg Billionaires, told Yahoo the $2-billion Dodgers sale changed everything because it “really showed that you have to value all of the assets when it comes to the teams, you can't just do revenue from ticket sales, concessions and stadium-type deals and merchandising. Really the driver of this is regional sports networks.”

The Dodgers’ new owners elected to start their own regional sports network, SportsNet LA, which is scheduled to start next season. It will be carried by Time Warner Cable and the deal is valued as high as $8.5 billion. It is expected to receive MLB approval well before the start of the 2014 season.

Bloomberg valued the Angels eighth overall at $1.1 billion. And despite the record assessments, some teams complained to Bloomberg their valuations were still too low. Everyone agrees the tide is rising, there just remains some dispute how much the Dodgers have caused it to climb.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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