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Thursday, March 11, 2010
Making More by Spending Less

Sports Business Daily (subscription only), citing Greg Johns of, reported yesterday that the Seattle Mariners posted "a $3.18M profit for '09, as opposed to a $4.53M deficit for '08." According to SBD: "That deficit was 'thanks in part to the team's highest payroll ever of $120M combined with a significant drop in attendance to 2.32 million fans from the previous year's 2.67 million.' Attendance declined another 6% this past season to 2.19 million last year, but the Mariners lowered their payroll to about $99M, meaning the club 'essentially made more by spending less.'" Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times attributes the '09 profit "largely to increased revenue due to a better team on the field as the Mariners won 85 games in 2009 after winning just 61 in 2008."

The club "made more by spending less." What an amazing concept! --And that's even with a significant drop in attendance. Also, the club won more games when they reduced their payroll by $21M. I wonder if college athletic departments might learn something from this when 95 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools are reporting deficits, yet they continue to justify the $2, $3, $4 and now $5 million head coaches' salaries (and $500k to $750K for assistant coaches) on the basis that it will lead to more wins.


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