Business Insider is reporting on a rumor they heard from TrimTabs blogger Dan Dorfman, saying that Yankees owners Hank and Hal Steinbrenner could be “amenable to a deal”, in light of the Los Angeles Dodgers selilng for $2 billion.
While owning the Yankees is a guaranteed cash cow (the team brought in $435 million in revenue last year), selling the team could result in a financial windfall that could set the Steinbrenners up for generations. Analysts project a possible Yankees sale at between $3 and $4 billion, which would also include the team’s 34% stake in the YES Network.
Despite Forbes’s evaluation of the Yankees being worth $1.85 billion, the sale of the Dodgers for more than 30% more than the $1.4 billion evaluation Forbes gave them this season shows that there is a willingness to pay a premium based on the “brand” as opposed to the raw team itself. And there is no better brand in sports than the New York Yankees and their 40 pennants and 27 World Championships.
I doubt the Yankees get sold. I mean, why fix what isn’t broke? But if the Steinbrenners were looking to get out of the baseball game for whatever reason, be it lack of attachment to the team, the desire to retire, or even just a change in lifestyle, selling the team at this juncture would be a very proftiable move. I mean, the Astros of all teams sold for $610 million six months ago. Forbes valued them at $549 million last month, after the sale had already taken place. The major reason for the jump in price that Jim Crane paid for the team had to do with a 45% ownership stake in the newly-created CSN Houston. The Yankees already have an established cable network that they own a third of, and YES brought in $224 million in operating income, $90 million of which went to the Yankees!
There is definitely a lot of money to be made by selling sports franchises in the year 2012. But when you’re looking at a franchise like the New York Yankees, the money that it would cost to purchase them is so far out of our imaginations that we shouldn’t even think about it. If it happens, though…rest assured, the Steinbrenners will be getting proper value for the team.