These are fairly good times for Minnesota sports fans. The Vikings won last night and some people think they’re Super Bowl bound. The Twins look like division winners. The Wolves are… well, let’s just forget about the Wolves for now; everyone else has.
But a revelation in the sports business world this week has rekindled a debate in the world of sports and the cities and states who often throw millions of dollars at them for sports stadiums: What responsibility do teams have to win?
A study this week revealed that the Pittsburgh Pirates — the worst team in baseball for an entire generation — are making money.
“They appear to be putting profits ahead of winning,” he tells NPR’s Audie Cornish, describing some financial documents leaked to The Associated Press that detail the team’s 2007-2008 finances. According to those documents, the Pirates made nearly $29.4 million in profit in 2007 and 2008.
They make money because of revenue-sharing. Other teams give them money and it’s up to the Pirates to pocket it, or spend it to present a better product.