Indians score hefty profits

December 15, 2008
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indiansIn good times and bad, the Indianapolis Indians continue to be a hit with local sports fans. The Indians scored a $1.23 million profit this year on $8.7 million in revenue, according to the publicly traded company’s most recent financial disclosure. That compares to a profit of $1.27 million on revenue of $8.22 million in 2007.

Revenue gains were offset by slight increases in expenses, with the most notable a $320,000 bump in advertising and promotion to $1.7 million. Grounds operation expenses were up slightly to $3.52 million and general and administrative expenses bumped up to $1.35 million.

As a result, Indians stockholders will get a dividend of $350 per share. That’s the same as last year, but up from $200 per share in 2006. The team is offering to buy back shares of stock currently for $21,328 per share. The stock, which is listed in the Pink Sheets, has traded for as high as $25,000 in the past year. Some stockholders believe the thinly traded stock is worth more than $30,000 per share. If you want to get in on the action, you might be a little hard pressed. There are only 774 shares outstanding. At $25,000 per share, that would value the team at $19.4 million.

There’s a reason why Indians stock is so valuable. It’s one of a dwindling number of sports properties that makes any money in Indianapolis. And it’s easily the most consistent.

Even in a year when the economy was less than stellar, the Indians saw increases in ticket revenue, concession sales and advertising income. Signboard advertising increased almost $100,000 from 2007, hitting $592,850. Promotional advertising revenue was up more than $130,000 to $858,827 and advertising in the team’s game-day souvenir program also was up. This shows that corporate Indiana understands the value of reaching this predictably solid audience.

This year the Indians drew 606,155, the team’s highest attendance mark since 2000. That put the team’s average attendance at 8,538 per game. If the economy continues to stagger, sports marketers think sports fans looking for relatively inexpensive entertainment options, could push the Indians attendance higher next season.
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  • This is great news for the average sports fan that can't afford to spend $100-$200 per game for a family outing to a sporting event. A spot on the lawn with the kids and a picnic basket is still the best value in town. I agree that the Indians will likely see another year of record crowds. People won't stop spending money, just spending it more wisely. And an Indians game is a bargain in my book!
  • I echo Boomer's sentiments. For a family of four on a budget there are few better ways to spend an evening in the summer than on the law at the Vic.

    As Harry Carray used to say You can't beat fun at the old ballpark.
  • Who does the Indians marketing? It's nice to see they convinced the Tribe to pony up some money for marketing - it definitely paid off this season.
  • It's my understanding that locally based Hirons & Co. handles advertising/marketing for the Indians.
  • As an HR Manager I convinced our president to purchase season tickets last year and it was a big hit among employees and clients. Even though the economy has somewhat impacted us, we have already renewed for 2009 since their prices are so low. We are proud to back the Indians.
  • Here's a web address that should appear hyperlinked in the blog: http://www.ibj.com, and here's www.ibj.com

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  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

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