The Braves sold out 42 of their 81 home games, with 3.2 million tickets sold or distributed for the year, which was the most since 2000, according to Liberty.
“We congratulate the Atlanta Braves, who won their fifth consecutive NL East Championship and drew record fans for Truist Park,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO as part of a statement provided by the corporation.
Maffei said on a conference call to discuss the quarterly report that losing to the Phillies was disappointing, but the Braves remain the champs until the ongoing series between the Phillies and Astros is complete.
Liberty Media attributed the increased revenue compared with the third quarter of 2021 to there being four more home games played. They also attributed the increase to more special events, including concerts. Revenues are derived from game revenues (ticket sales, concessions, etc.) and broadcast revenue.
For the third quarter, the Braves’ operating profit before depreciation and amortization – the most common metric, along with revenue, for assessing a pro sports franchise’s economic performance – was $41 million, Liberty said. That was a decrease of $17 million, or 29%.
Liberty attributed the decrease in profit to higher player salaries, an increase in game day expenses because of the four more games, and higher attendance and increased expenses under the league’s revenue sharing plan. Maffei said there were also modest increase in costs associated with winning the World Series for things like a trophy tour and unique merchandise.
After depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation and restructuring and acquisition costs, the Braves showed an operating profit of $13 million for the most recent quarter, compared to $35 million in the third quarter last year. It was a decrease of 63%.
Braves’ debt decreased by $1 million to $598 million over the three months. The Braves cash and cash equivalents decreased by $48 million to $159 million because of what Liberty described as “cash used in operations primarily due to seasonal working capital changes, as well as debt service, partially offset by the release of restricted cash pursuant to the terms of various financial debt arrangements.”
The team likely will increase its payroll next season should it re-sign one or more of its free agents, including the coveted Dansby Swanson, or replacements.
The team extended the contracts of Matt Olson, after acquiring him in a trade before the 2022 season, Austin Riley, Michael Harris and Spencer Strider. Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, Riley, Olson, Strider and Harris are all signed through at least 2027. They will be paid $662 million for the duration of their contracts.
“That sets us up well for future years,” Maffei said.