Forbes: Seattle Mariners Worth a Paltry $449 Million

If sports teams were sold based on a Forbes value analysis, a lady or gent with $1.7 billion could buy the New York Yankees franchise. But why do that when they could buy three Seattle Mariners franchises and still have $33 million to drop on say, a few of these.

The magazine just published its MLB's Most Valuable Teams run-down, and the M's value of $449 million places them in the exact middle at 15th most valuable among 30 teams, but under the average value of $523 million.

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The value and revenue of the team has been inching up year by year since it dropped by $40 million after the 2008 season. But the numbers are nothing to write home about. Attendance is down, FSN TV ratings are down, and of course wins are down, which is usually the fastest way to lose money in any sport.

Fortunately, the team has contracts in high places.

The Mariners saw their supporters vanish in 2010 as the team won just 61 games, the fewest in the American League. Attendance at Safeco Field dropped by 5% to an average of 27,116 per game. Ratings on FSN Northwest plummeted 23%, the fourth-sharpest decline in baseball. Despite the ratings drop, the Mariners 10-year deal with FSN worth more than $450 million kicks off this season after being signed in 2007. The Mariners are banking on staff ace Felix Hernandez who signed a five-year, $78 million contract extension last year.

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