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MLB: Pirates receive $80-$90 million before opening the gates?

Central Fund, Revenue Sharing, Radio rights covers all expenses for Pirates before selling a ticket?
New York Yankees president Randy Levine has brought revenue sharing for small market teams back to forefront as opening week is underway.
According to the Milwaukee Journal, New York Yankees president Randy Levine responded to a quote from Brewers owner Mark Attanasio in USA Today on Monday in which he said the Brewers were struggling to try to sign Prince Fielder to a long-term deal while the Yankees’ infield makes more than Milwaukee’s entire payroll.
“I’m sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers,” Levine told ESPNNewYork.com.
Levine went on to say that teams such as the Brewers have received “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenue sharing from the Yankees over the past few years.
“Take some of that money that you get from us and use it to sign your players,” Levine advised those getting such funds.
Levine then goes on to say that the question is where is all of that revenue sharing money going
The Brewers reportedly received about $30 million in revenue sharing last year, while the Pirates for example received $35 million in revenue sharing.
The Brewers payroll is $85.3 million this season, compared to the Pirates payroll which is $35.3 million.
While a lot of the focus is on revenue sharing, it is often overlooked that teams receive at least an additional $45 million due the MLB central fund and local media.
Under the current CBA, all teams pay in 31 percent of their local revenues and that pot is split evenly among all 30 teams.

In addition, a chunk of the MLB’s Central Fund which is made up of revenues from sources like national broadcast contracts, licensing and marketing and MLB International is disproportionately allocated to teams based on their relative revenues. In effect, lower-revenue teams get a bigger piece of the revenue.
On the way to the office this morning, ESPN’s Jayson Stark was on the radio talking about this issue. Stark reiterated once again that the Pirates are among a group of small market teams that receive upwards of $80 million before opening the gates.
The Pirates receive $30 million from the MLB Central Fund and the Pirates are among 29 of 30 teams that receive at least $15 million from local media including radio rights.
Add in the $35 million+ that the Pirates receive in revenue sharing, Pittsburgh is believed to have received anywhere from $80-$90 million per season over the past 2-to-3 years, which comes close to covering all of their expenses before selling a ticket.
The Pirates total expenses in 2009 were believed to be around $95-$100 million. A team source projects their expenses to be slightly lower in 2010 due to a lower payroll.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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