M’s make money, Safeco Field to repay city in 125 years

DMZ · March 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Money! from Tracy O‘s flickr stream, cc-licensed

Jim Street, at mlb.com, writes on M’s reported a $17.8m profit last year.

Note that that’s reported profit, and subject to its own accounting hijinks. Still, yay money. As much as I may whine about the team’s spending habits and whatever else, as fans we’re obviously better off with a stable, financially viable team here and not playing in Jersey or something ridiculous.

“We had a good year, both on and off the field,” Mariners President Chuck Armstrong said. “The fan response to the team’s improved performance was outstanding. Our ownership has always invested all profits back into the team, the franchise and the ballpark, and did so again in 2007.”

Ummmmmmmmmm…. okay.

Anyway, the fun part (besides Street repeating the M’s “we spent $113m on payroll last year, sixth-highest in baseball” line) is the profit sharing, where Street talks about how once the team’s $200m in losses (snort) since 1999 are paid off, the team starts to pay profit-sharing to the Public Facilities District. 10%, which is still absurdly low considering the sweetheart rent the M’s get, and amazingly low considering the role the city played — but it’s a better deal than some cities got.


32 Responses to “M’s make money, Safeco Field to repay city in 125 years”

  1. thefin190 on March 10th, 2008 5:23 pm

    Its nothing short of amazing how the team still runs on a profit despite the making poor decisions, and imploding at the end of last season. I think the credit would probably goes to the marketing team, and the press, which seems to promote everything good about the team, and ignore the obvious issues with the roster. And Ichiro! I would guess the M’s would lose a whole group of customers if Ichiro! was to depart to another team.

    Speaking of marketing, who else is excited for this year’s annual batch of Mariners’ commercials?

  2. DaveValleDrinkNight on March 10th, 2008 5:41 pm

    I am, but I don’t think any of them can top the Ichiro! pitching from Center ad.

    You know why the M’s are so profitable?
    It’s the Rally Fries.

  3. fetish on March 10th, 2008 5:44 pm

    The best Mariners of ad of all time were the “first name on jerseys ad” from 2002 or 2003 and even better, the “John Olerud washing uniforms” commercial with Edgar.

    Contenders were the original Bat Knight ad (ahead of its tame, although lame) and the “9 Griffey’s” Ad (actually, i think he was also the umpire and manager, so perhaps it was 11)

  4. waldo rojas on March 10th, 2008 5:45 pm

    Is this still coasting on the vapor trail from 2001?

    Lordy, this town needs a champion.

  5. Mike Snow on March 10th, 2008 5:51 pm

    So halfway through a 20-year lease, the team has recovered about 3/4ths of the losses it incurred in a 5-year period. The time it will take to make up the rest is just about right – right for the Mariners, because the timing will be perfect to start complaining about the facility needing an upgrade. The end of the lease will be fast approaching, a nice bargaining chip, and they can negotiate a new deal that promises some cosmetic enhancements and no more profit-sharing.

  6. Steve Nelson on March 10th, 2008 5:52 pm

    The commercial where Jamie Moyer is having his fastball clocked with a French radar gun (output in km/hr) is a classic.

  7. jlc on March 10th, 2008 6:14 pm

    I still think Beltre’s look at the Double Play twins is priceless.

  8. Mr. Egaas on March 10th, 2008 6:15 pm

    Edgar having the remote to the roof. That’s the one right there.

  9. PositivePaul on March 10th, 2008 6:26 pm

    Well, since we’re diverting this thread into the commercials (which are, of course, all part of the marketing ploy to bring in more money, so therefore it’s really not entirely off-topic, so…), I have to say the “Norm Norm” commercial takes the cake for me. Charlton will forever be known as “Norm Norm” by me and pretty much all of my family. I love bugging him about it, too…

  10. IHaveALittleProject on March 10th, 2008 6:36 pm

    It’s a light bat!

  11. Some Dude on March 10th, 2008 6:43 pm

    Pardon my ignorance here, but I am an out of town fan. In the article it mentions several things I was unaware of, including a lease at Safeco, implying that the public owns the stadium. But then it Armstrong mentions that they continue to make improvements to the stadium. So, at whose expense? Do the Ms pay to maintain and improve the stadium even though someone else owns it?

  12. DMZ on March 10th, 2008 6:51 pm

    Sort of. The M’s do things like install those dumb cattle-pen-style rails on the concourses and then they essentially bill the PFD. So yeah, the city pays when the M’s decide to do things like convert suites to seats or whatever.

  13. patl on March 10th, 2008 6:54 pm

    hey Waldo Rojas – you know what I remember about that 2001 team? There was no quit in that ballclub.

  14. msb on March 10th, 2008 7:54 pm

    so how does the notion that the Safeco Field bonds will be paid off by 2013 enter into all of this?

    (p.s. just a reminder, the ‘light bat’ commercials were for Eagle hardware, not the Mariners)

  15. NBarnes on March 10th, 2008 7:57 pm

    You know what I remember about that 2001 team? They were #1 in the league in R/G while also being #1 in the league in RA/G. That was really something.

  16. DaveValleDrinkNight on March 10th, 2008 8:32 pm

    Speaking of dumb things the M’s do at Safeco. I’m a Bartender so I love go to the afternoon Games during the weekdays. Have you ever noticed how many Ushers they have there, it’s HILARIOUS. There he sits, the poor, lonely Usher, all by Himself in the center of five empty sections. If it didn’t cost the GNP of Guam to buy a Beer I’d get the poor guy one.

  17. Kazinski on March 10th, 2008 9:48 pm

    I thought the best commercial was the Nickname consultant:

    Nellie: “This is the guy that came up with Cammy, Nellie, and Shiggy”

    Cammy: “That’s right – and Shiggy!”

    Consultant: “Lets go with Winny”.

    What ever happened to Randy Winn? Oh that’s right he’s the Giants best position player. Led their qualified players last year with a .798 OPS. Ouch.

  18. Mike Honcho on March 11th, 2008 8:56 am

    From the Verducci column today on SI.com:

    “One thing we’ve talked about a lot this spring is using his fastball more,” Seattle pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said. “He’s got such a good one, but at times he wants to show his other pitches. He’s on board with it.”

    Look for more “establishing the fastball early” from Felix. And look for more hitters to sit on said fastball and hit it hard.

    One would think a genius such as Stottlemyre would figure out that Felix’s fastball is not his best pitch…

    I’m not saying Stottlemyre’s comments above prove anything, but I’ve always thought he was overrated as a pitching coach. Must be easy when you get to work with Pettitte, Clemens, Wells, Cone, etc.

  19. Paul B on March 11th, 2008 9:53 am

    Any of the commercials with Edgar were the best.

    “I took my geoduck to Puyallup”.

    “That just isn’t right”.

    “Yes, we have a coupon”.

    “That’s a problem”.

  20. ooter on March 11th, 2008 9:57 am

    14 – Are you referring to how both the Mariners and Seahawks stadiums will be paid off early? There is currently a plan to continue the tax through till when it was supposed to end and use the money to finance an arena for the Sonics (in conjunction with local business money) if a deal can be reached. That’s getting a little off topic though. You can read about it at saveoursonics.org if you want a full explanation of how the tax will finance a new arena and other public things.

  21. Evan on March 11th, 2008 10:36 am

    “I took my geoduck to Puyallup” was the best commercial ever. By far.

  22. JMHawkins on March 11th, 2008 10:54 am

    I love the goeduck commercial too. Hey, they could reprise that.


    EDGAR: Adrian, you’re the veteran, you need to set a good example for the kids.

    BELTRE: You mean lay off the slider in the dirt?

    EDGAR: That too, but I’m talking about the cultural things. Remember what it was like, being a kid thousands of miles from home, in a different culture, everyone speaking a different language?

    BELTRE: Ci, Popi, I do. But I don’t know if I can do it.

    EDGAR: Of course you can. I’m here to help. We can do this together. Now, repeat after me. “I took my goeduck to Puyallup…”

  23. Robo Ape on March 11th, 2008 11:51 am

    I was a huge fan of the Russ Davis bad dancing commercial. Just seeing Lou’s reaction when Russ says: “I think he’s pretty good.” That one and (going way back to 1994) Jay Buhner as a standup comedian were priceless.

  24. msb on March 11th, 2008 12:17 pm

    in honor of Coach Amaral:

    Pie Drills.

  25. J.L. White on March 11th, 2008 1:30 pm

    The best Mariner commercial has to be the one where Dan Wilson is chatting up the batter for a solid minute, waiting for a Jamie Moyer fastball (with a little mustard on it) to finally make its way to the plate.

  26. Evan on March 11th, 2008 3:07 pm

    The Jamie Moyer career retrospective that started in the 1920’s was pretty great, as well.

  27. galaxieboi on March 11th, 2008 3:57 pm

    Do any MLB teams allow independent audits of their books and accounting practices? I would think it’d behove the PFD (and it’s counterparts in other cities) to require something approaching this.

  28. DMZ on March 11th, 2008 4:02 pm

    it’s/its there.

    Generally, teams are extremely reluctant to let outside parties look into, much less disclose, information about their finances. You get problems like Zimbalist tearing into you in excessive detail for your constant lying.

    It’s one of the reasons they don’t want the teams themselves to be publicly owned.

    In cases like this, though, where there’s money involved, the sides have audit rights, though that right may not include public disclosure of audit results.

  29. galaxieboi on March 11th, 2008 4:21 pm

    Interesting. So, theoretically PFD could be checking the team’s books but simply can’t comment on the results. Huh.

    Yeah, always with my it’s/its. I gotta work on that.

  30. Steve T on March 11th, 2008 5:13 pm

    So when are we going to finish paying off that other stadium, the one we imploded? We still owe quite a few million for that one, don’t we?

    Safeco’s starting to look a little old, a little ratty. Time for a new one, don’t you think? We need more luxurious luxury boxes, with spas and prostitutes. The taxpayers can take it; they’ll take anything for their sports teams.

  31. John D. on March 11th, 2008 5:21 pm

    Re: # 4 –

    Is this still coasting on the vapor trail from 2001?

    Lordy, this town needs a champion.

    W/R/T: One day in 2001, I went into the Mariner team store. “The way they’re going now,” I said to the clerk, “makes you forget about ’95.”
    “I’ll never forget ’95,” she said.
    So there you have it. Why try for a WS championship? An ALDS championship will do. (That should fil up those seats for a decade or two–maybe a century or two.)

  32. Maury Brown on March 12th, 2008 10:18 am

    My research shows the Mariners pulling almost $98 million in profits since their first full season in Safeco (2001). On the $23.3 million in 2006, which is the largest figure for profit by the M’s, that was due to the one-time payment to all 30 clubs after the sale of the Expos to the Lerner group in DC.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.