The St. Louis Cardinals are Major League baseball’s sixth most valuable franchise, and the Kansas City Royals rank 28th out of baseball’s 30 teams in franchise value, according to Forbes Magazine’s annual list of Major League Baseball team values.
The Cardinals are worth $1.4 billion, a 71 percent increase over last year’s valuation of $820 million, according to Forbes. The publication lists operating income of $73.6 million on revenue of $294 million for the club, which it calls “baseball’s biggest anomaly” for its high value despite its relatively small market.
Despite making their first playoff appearance in three decades and engineering a run to the World Series, the Royals remained among the cellar dwellers in terms of Forbes’ franchise valuations. Kansas City is valued at $700 million, a 43 percent increase over its 2014 valuation of $490 million.
But Kansas City’s “Boys in Blue” are now in the black. Forbes lists a profit of $26.6 million on revenue of $231 million for the Royals. Last year, the publication said the team had an operating loss of $6.5 million.
Half of baseball’s 30 franchises now have a value of at least $1 billion, according to Forbes. The average team is worth $1.2 billion, a 48 percent increase over last year and the largest year-over-year spike since Forbes began compiling its list in 1998. Television contracts are driving that revenue growth, the publication says.