Because none of us have any self-control, places like USA Today create lists like ‘MLB’s Most Powerful People‘ and we click.
The Commissioner, Rob Manfred is the #1 ‘most powerful’, followed by his right-hand man Dan Halem and the COO of MLB Tony Petitti in the #2 and #3 spots respectively. But #4? That’s where things get interesting, as Cardinals owner and CEO Bill Dewitt claims the first non-corporate position.
From the article:
Dewitt has been CEO of the Cardinals since 1996, but has risen to considerable power under Rob Manfred, and is Manfred’s closest ally in ownership circles. He is a former chairman of the executive council and also a former chairman of the Commissioner’s succession committee that helped elect Manfred. Manfred, in fact, may not have been elected commissioner without DeWitt’s strong influence. He succeeds Jerry Reinsdorf as the most powerful owner in the game.
No word if a banquet is in the works or if Mr. Reinsdorf would even attend. Stay tuned.
Mr. DeWitt is on kind of a hot streak the past few years.
His team was recently touted as the ‘most profitable‘ in all of Major League Baseball. He negotiated a new 1 billion dollar TV deal with Fox Sports Midwest that kicks in next season. He got approval (with 65 million dollars in incentives) to start work on phase II of the highly profitable Ballpark Village. And he saw his team value rise to 1.6 billion dollars, roughly 1.5 billion dollars more than he and his investment group paid for the team in 1996 when they bought the team from Anheuser-Busch.
So, to recap…
- One of the most profitable teams in MLB
- New billion dollar TV deal
- Highly profitable outside development (Ballpark Village)
- Highly profitable 2nd phase of BPV coming (w/ incentives from city)
- 1.5 billion+ in equity from team
- One of the most powerful people in the sport
- Revenue from MLB’s national TV deal
- Revenue from tickets sold (3.4M+ in 2016)
- Revenue from team sponsorships in and around stadium
- Revenue from merchandise sales
- Revenue from concessions at stadium, including beer + food
- Revenue from rent from businesses at Ballpark Village
- Revenue from licensing logo for use from outside companies
- Revenue from parking around the stadium
- Revenue from MLB’s ancillary deals (like this investment from Disney)
- Revenue from luxury suites and entertaining areas
- Revenue from stadium events (like weddings)
- Revenue from concerts (like Metallica)
- Revenue from MLB.TV subscriptions from out of market fans
- Revenue from a local and regional radio deals (Cardinals Radio Network)
You get the point.
For sure, the Cardinals have expenses that need to be paid. Players salaries, debt on construction from the stadium and Ballpark Village, et al.
The Cardinals make money, though. A lot of money.
And with money comes power. Mr. DeWitt has accumulated both, becoming one of the most influential figures in the sport. Time will tell how he chooses to shape the game or his team in St. Louis.