You’ve always wanted to get into baseball. You’ve bothered all your friends for years about your ideas for making a team hum. You read all the cutting-edge websites and have theories of your own. You have some money saved up, and your day job is pretty successful, but you’re not willing to start at the bottom of the baseball hierarchy. You won’t bring your resume and hound the execs.
There’s opportunity for you around the next corner. Try jumping into baseball by owning your own minor league baseball team. The Sports Advisory Group, a sub-sector of the W.B. Grimes and Co., a boutique media, sports and entertainment mergers and acquisitions firm, has a classified section you may never have seen before. They list, for your pleasure, the minor- and independent-league teams that are available for purchase.
This is no piggy bank possibility – minor league teams go anywhere from $250,000 (for something like an independent league team) to $20 million (for a successful Double-A or Triple-A enterprise), and require a business plan that can account for all of the future costs associated with a typical team. The Sports Advisory Group may function as a broker that can, at the same time, vet you and your team while advocating for you with the current team owner – but you’ll still need to pony up the up-front cash while showing you can afford the costs later.
The reward is more about the love of the game than actual returns. One recent article, quoting Satisfaction Magazine, said that MiLB teams have the potential to bring in a net profit from 5 to 10 percent a year and appreciate at an average of 3 to 5 percent annually. These sort of modest-but-steady gains require a healthy interest in the sport, but don’t buy your favorite team. As the article warns, “Buyers who are too enamored with their chosen team could end up paying far too much for a team in a less-than-ideal market.” Nolan Ryan may hope the warning doesn’t apply in his case.
Perhaps you don’t have $250k to throw around. I hear you buddy. Then just enjoy the listings. They inspire inquiry. What team, and where? How much? It’d be nice to see the numbers involved in each listing, but of course there’s too many hurdles between here and there to just give that information away.
And, of course, your mind may wander to potential listings for major league teams. Perhaps something like “Well-established but struggling major league franchise in South seeks new ownership to pull the team out of bankruptcy,” with the unspoken figure of $600 million hovering over the promise of Little-Big-League-esque fulfillment and joy. It’s a small price to pay if you can pay it.