Batter up: Indians score big profit

February 11, 2008
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While it’s still frigid outside, it will be heating up inside the corporate offices at Victory Field today, where the Indianapolis Indians will conduct the franchise’s annual shareholders meeting at 3 p.m. It’s difficult to say how the team will do on the field this season, but Indians executives anticipate a banner year financially.

Team profit grew from $810,000 in 2006 to $1.27 million in 2007. Last year marked the first time in three seasons the club’s profit surpassed $1 million. Fueled by an aggressive marketing campaign, attendance hit its highest mark in six seasons. Ticket sales increased 15 percent, merchandise sales rose 10 percent, and concession sales were up 33 percent.

Walk-up ticket sales were so brisk, the team this off-season spent $250,000 to add three ticket windows to the six existing. Indians board members are expected to give an update on other revenue-driving projects at today’s meeting.

Indians stockholders will be just as eager to hear about the franchise’s most recent stock buyback. Board members agreed in late November to significantly increase their offer in an ongoing stock-buyback effort, from $15,329 to $21,832 per share. Since the team retires shares it buys, shareholders who decide not to sell own a larger slice of the team.

At last count, there were 789 outstanding shares of Indians stock remaining, held by 210 stockholders. That would give the franchise a $17.2 million value. One stockholder estimated the value of the franchise at nearly $24 million.

In this time of economic uncertainty, can the Indians expect to improve on last year’s fiscal performance? And what is the team's true value?
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  • The best sports value in town. Good seats, beer and a hot dog on a summer night.
  • If I remember correctly, there was at least one major concert at Victory Field last summer. Did that concert revenue affect the the earnings?
  • Katie: You are very observant. There was one concert at Victory Field in 2007, and that was one more than was held there in 2006. The concert brought in $48,493 in revenue for the franchise. What's not clear is how much it cost the team to put on the concert. I'll try to check on that.
  • What they need to do instead of adding three more windows for walk up sales, is move the Will Call all the way to the actual most used entrance. I parked at the closest garage (govt center) only to get out and go to the ticket window and have to walk with three of my kids and their gear all the way around the outside of the stadium to wait in line for will call. They should move will call to the gate that has the most foot traffic. The one facing downtown. Other than that, love the betting games inside the field!
  • Nice profit while the team runs off another parent club. Imagine what it could do with some visionary ownership, a solid partnership with a Major League team, and a maximization of the amazing resources the city has given the team. The Indians are going to face some challenges as they lose the Pirates after this season, deal with major construction on new hotels that could impact the ease of access and change the sitelines and wind patterns at the park, and a recession.

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