Now that you’ve won the World Series, you can pay back some debt

Steve Henn Nov 2, 2010

Now that you’ve won the World Series, you can pay back some debt

Steve Henn Nov 2, 2010


Kai Ryssdal: By now you’ve surely heard the sporting news of the week: the San Francisco Giants have won the World Series for the first time since they played back east.

But here is something you may not remember. The Texas Rangers — the losers last night — were bankrupt less than a year ago. And before the post-season started, the Giants were set to lose millions of dollars themselves.

Marketplace’s Steve Henn reports that winning it all may not actually be priceless, but it can help move a franchise into the black.

Steve Henn: Back in April who would’ve picked the Giants to win the World Series?

Sal Galatioto: I don’t think many people did. If they say they did, they are probably lying to you.

Sal Galatioto runs a sports investment bank. He says the Giants and the Rangers offer a model of how to survive a recession.

Galatioto: People are doing more with less. Especially the Giants — they picked up a lot of players that nobody wanted.

Guys like the World Series MVP Edgar Renteria.

Game announcer: It is gone! Edgar Renteria has hit a three-run homer.

But before this championship run, the Giants were looking at several million dollars in losses this season. Andy Zimbalist is a sports economist at Smith College. He says the series pushed the club into the black.

Andy Zimbalist: At the end of the day they probably already have an operating profit of close to $10 million.

The club could use the cash. Like many American families, it’s still paying off some debts accumulated back when the economy was on steroids. The Giants owe about $20 million a year on their stadium, and the franchise is still paying off Barry Bond’s old contract. He retired three years ago.

Marc Ganis is the president of Sports Corp Ltd. He says the real payoff will come next year from increased season tickets sales and corporate promotions.

Mark Ganis: On the revenue side the number should be worth somewhere north of $25 million.

So next year the Giants will have a new challenge: how to the handle prosperity.

From Giants Country, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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