Braves post revenue of over $600 million for first time

Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley  celebrates with first baseman Matt Olson (28) after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of the home opener spring training baseball game at CoolToday Park, Feb. 25, 2024, in North Port, Florida. (Hyosub Shin /



Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley celebrates with first baseman Matt Olson (28) after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of the home opener spring training baseball game at CoolToday Park, Feb. 25, 2024, in North Port, Florida. (Hyosub Shin /

The Braves soared past $600 million in annual revenue for the first time last year, according to financial results disclosed this week by the team’s publicly traded parent company, Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc.

Braves Holdings, which consists of the baseball team and mixed-use development The Battery Atlanta, said it generated 2023 revenue of $641 million, up $52 million – or 9% – from the year before.

The latest results reflect a continuation of the dramatic revenue growth the Braves have seen since their move to Truist Park – a trajectory interrupted only by the pandemic in 2020.

According to figures previously reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves generated revenue of $262 million in 2016, their last season at Turner Field; $386 million in 2017, their first season at Truist (then named SunTrust Park); $442 million in 2018; $476 million in 2019; $178 million in 2020 (the pandemic-shortened season without fans in the stands); $568 million in the World Series championship year of 2021; and $589 million in 2022.

The Braves attributed their 2023 revenue increase to a range of factors – including ticket demand, new sponsorships and contractual rate increases in existing sponsorship and broadcasting contracts – and suggested they expect the trend to continue in 2024.

“We are thrilled with both the team and financial performance of the Braves in 2023,” Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a prepared statement accompanying Wednesday’s financial report. “Our management continues to focus on optimizing the ballpark, with upgrades planned for 2024 to drive more commercial opportunities and an improved fan experience. Season tickets, including premium seats, are already sold out in anticipation of another exciting season. The Battery benefitted from increased foot traffic and strong sales across the development, and we expect another strong year ahead.”

Of the $641 million in 2023 revenue, the Braves attributed $582 million to baseball sources (such as ticket sales, concessions, advertising/sponsorships, retail/licensing, suites and local and national broadcast rights) and the other $59 million to The Battery (primarily rental income). The Braves said $161 million of their baseball revenue came from broadcasting, up from $154 million in 2022.

In a Securities & Exchange Commission filing Wednesday, Braves Holdings said it defines attendance as “the number of ticket holders who enter Truist Park” and said the “average number of attendees per regular season home game” last year was 32,542. That number is 17% lower than the Braves’ announced average attendance of 39,401. Typically, pro sports teams publicly announce attendance as the number of tickets sold or distributed, as opposed to the actual attendance in the stadium.

Offsetting the revenue gains, the Braves’ expenses also were higher in 2023. Braves Holdings reported that its 2023 operating profit before depreciation and amortization (adjusted OIBDA) – the most common metric, along with revenue, for assessing a pro sports franchise’s economic performance – was $38 million, down 35% from 2022.

The Braves said baseball operating costs “increased primarily due to higher player salaries, including offseason trade activity in the fourth quarter, as well as increases under MLB’s revenue sharing plan.” For example, the Braves reportedly spent about $17 million on “bad contracts” associated with acquiring left fielder Jarred Kelenic from Seattle in December.

After factoring in depreciation and amortization ($71 million) and stock-based compensation ($13 million), Braves Holdings showed an operating loss of $46 million for 2023, according to the figures disclosed this week. Large deductions for depreciation and amortization are believed to be common for MLB teams.

The Braves carried debt of $569 million as of Dec. 31, up from $555 million three months earlier, the company said.

The Braves have increased the detail in their quarterly and full-year financial disclosures since Braves Holdings was split off from Liberty Media as a separate publicly traded company last year. Costs related to the split-off contributed to the Braves’ increased expenses in 2023.

Several key Liberty Media executives also hold key executive and oversight roles with Braves Holdings.

“The Braves are a unique and valuable sports property with leading on-field and off-field business performance,” Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, who also is chairman and CEO of Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc., said in a statement accompanying this week’s financial disclosures. “Strong on-field performance yielded robust revenue growth for the full year (of 2023), and early indicators for the 2024 season show increased demand.”