Braves exec to investors: ‘We’re set up to win, and we’re going after it’

The Braves pitched a bullish outlook for the team, on and off the field, at an investors conference held by owner Liberty Media in New York on Thursday.

“We’re set up to win, and we’re going to go after it,” longtime Braves executive Mike Plant, now president and CEO of Braves Development Company, told the attendees. “I can assure you that one of these years I’m going to stand up here and have a World Series trophy with me.”

Plant said the Braves’ strategy is to complement their “great pipeline” of young talent “with some key veteran acquisitions.”

“We think our future is very bright and that we have an incredible formula for success on and off that field,” Plant said. “… We think our formula is working. We know the vision we had is definitely working, and the success is just going to certainly continue.”

After a painful three-year rebuild, the Braves won the National League East championship the past two seasons, but failed to advance in the playoffs both years.

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At Thursday’s presentation, webcast by Liberty Media,  Plant said the Braves have had “tremendous growth” in the “key indicators” of attendance, gate revenue, sponsorship revenue and TV ratings since the move from Turner Field to SunTrust Park in 2017.

The investors were told the Braves have averaged annual increases of 21% in total revenue, 9% in paid attendance, 22% in gate receipts, 25% in sponsorship revenue and 44% in TV ratings since the move. The largest increase in attendance came in 2017, but the trend continued upward in 2018 and 2019.

“People now come early (and) they stay late,” said Plant, citing the combination of SunTrust Park and adjacent mixed-use development The Battery Atlanta. “… We broke  the trends in baseball or any sport that when you build a new facility, that third year you start seeing your (attendance) go down (because) the newness has really worn off. We broke that trend and (in 2019) had our highest annual total since 2007 as far as tickets sold.

“Obviously, a lot of that is (if) your team plays well and you have success on the field, you’re going to see it at the gate.”

He said The Battery “is complementing our objective of winning the World Series.”