Braves’ value up $225 million since last year, Forbes figures

The World Series Champions flag is hoisted in center field at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla., before the Braves' first exhibition game of the season on March 18. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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The World Series Champions flag is hoisted in center field at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla., before the Braves' first exhibition game of the season on March 18. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

The Braves are worth $2.1 billion, an increase of $225 million in the past year, according to Forbes’ annual preseason analysis of MLB franchise values.

The study, released Thursday, ranks the Braves as baseball’s 10th most valuable franchise.

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Estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.875 billion a year ago, the Braves surpassed a $2 billion valuation for the first time in the publication’s latest analysis.

MLB’s most valuable teams, according to the study, are the New York Yankees at an estimated $6 billion, the Los Angeles Dodgers at $4.075 billion, the Boston Red Sox at $3.9 billion, the Chicago Cubs at $3.8 billion and the San Francisco Giants at $3.5 billion.

Forbes’ estimate of the Braves’ value may be understated because its analysis doesn’t include teams’ investments in real estate, such as the Braves’ in The Battery Atlanta. But even at the estimated $2.1 billion, the Braves would be worth close to five times as much as Liberty Media paid for the team in 2007 in a complex transaction driven by tax savings. That deal valued the Braves at slightly less than $450 million at the time.

MLB-wide, the average franchise value increased 9% in the past year, according to Forbes, in part because of two components of the new collective bargaining agreement that will generate additional revenue: expanded playoffs and sponsor advertising on uniforms (jersey patches and helmet decals). The Braves’ valuation increased 12% coming off their World Series championship.

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Braves Holdings, which includes the team and The Battery, had $568 million in revenue and $111 million in operating profit before depreciation and amortization last year, Liberty Media disclosed last month.

Forbes has published its MLB valuations, often disputed by team owners, annually since 1998. The Yankees have been ranked No. 1 in value every year.