The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Dodgers opener: This year has to be better for revenues

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36415 full

Welcome to your 2012 Dodgers home opener revenue projection!

Since 2009, the Los Angeles Dodgers have seen their yearly revenues fall into a death spiral, culminating in Frank McCourt's decision to put the team into bankruptcy and — just a few weeks back — sell it to Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and a group of investors headed by Guggenheim Partners' CEO Mark Walter. The numbers are rough: $286 million in 2009 down to $230 million (estimated) in 2011. That slide happened against the backdrop of more than $500 million in debt, now due to be discharged by the sale of the team and assumed by the new owners.

Oh, and Dodger Stadium needs to be fixed up. That will cost at least $200 million.

Last year, the L.A. Times broke down the revenues:

[T]icket receipts of $107.2 million were the largest contributor (37.5%) to the Dodgers' $286 million in total revenue that year.

The second-biggest contributor was $42.6 million from MLB funds that the teams divide, such as from national television broadcasts and MLB.com. That was followed by local broadcasting revenue ($41.5 million), advertising promotions ($27 million), concessions ($25.5 million), suite rentals ($20 million) and parking ($11 million).

This almost has to improve in 2012, as the new owners step in and begin to execute their plan. A very big boost should arrive in about a year, when the team can renegotiate its current broadcast deal. Expectations are that it could bring in $5 billion. That kind of coin could move the Dodger's past the Boston Red Sox ($272 million in yearly revenue) and even into New York Yankees territory ($427 million), especially if the Dodgers create a regional sports network, along the lines of the Yankees YES network.

That said, everyone is still asking questions about the structure of the deal, notably where Mark Walter is getting the bulk of the $2-billion sale price. And don't forget in order for the team to maximize ticket sales, it's going to have to spend millions modernizing Dodgers Stadium.

However, if everything goes according to plan, with the fans returning to the ball park and the broadcast deal breaking records, the Dodgers have a bright future to look forward to.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

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