Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MLB BK

The Texas Rangers have now become the fourth Major League Baseball team to file bankruptcy.  The old Seattle Pilots filed back in 1969 before skipping out to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers.  The Orioles followed their owner into bankruptcy in 1993.  Last October the Cubs followed the Tribune Company into Chapter 11 to facilitate a clean sale of the franchise.  And now the Rangers have followed suit, to force a sale of the franchise past a recalcitrant creditor.  Thomas Hicks, the main man in the Rangers ownership group, is reportedly also trying to sell his half interest in the Liverpool Football Club, perhaps the crown jewel of the English Premier League.  In my not so humble opinion, if Hicks can't make money off the Liverpool club, it's probably best that he gets out of sports ownership.

Which is not to say that making money from sports ownership is an automatic.  Far from it.  Of the four major, professional leagues in the US, only the NFL has a business model that a reasonable likelihood of returns to owners (Although we'll see how much the recent Supreme Court decision bollockses this.).  In the NBA, NHL, and MLB, unless you're one of the elite franchises, you have issues; non-elite franchises bleed cash and are nothing but rich men's hobbies.

Looking at this, I can't help but conclude that, unless MLB fixes its business model, we can expect more filings.  There's only so long you can run your business as a hobby and keep the lights on.

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1 Comments:

At August 2, 2010 at 7:53 PM, Blogger OkieLawyer said...

Knute:

I haven't seen you around the Sudden Debt blog lately, where you used to hang out.

I came across a law blog where you made a comment sometime in the last month while researching a scam that's been targeting the legal profession lately.

Pop back in to Sudden Debt again and don't be such a stranger.

 

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