Forbes has just released their annual MLB franchise valuation lists and the numbers for the Tribe aren't surprising.
Franchise Value: $399 million (rank: 18th)
% Change from last year: -4%
Revenue: $181 million (rank: 16th)
Operating Income: $19.5 million (rank: 13th)
You can check out the full rankings here and details on the Indians here. Two tidbits — the Yanks posted one of only two operating income loses in the league, along with the Tigers (who seem to have lost about $26.3 million last year), and it's official now, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has now received more in MLB's revenue sharing system than he paid for the team, making the Marlins a free acquisition in essence.
Just for fun, here's the Tribe's value and rankings since Forbes started doing the valuation listings in 2002.
2009 edition: $399 million (18)
2008 edition: $417 million (15)
2007 edition: $364 million (18)
2006 edition: $352 million (17)
2005 edition: $319 million (15)
2004 edition: $292 million (13)
2003 edition: $331 million (10)
2002 edition: $360 million (7)
Looking ahead to next year, it's clear that all but a select few of organizations will take sizable hits in revenue numbers due to the economic crisis gripping the country. Everyone's expecting fewer people to go through the turnstiles at major league parks this summer, which will probably have a domino effect in the winter of free agency.
Through the first five home games (since the Tribe's had a road-heavy schedule so far), the Tribe's attendance stands at 102,501 compared to 112,331 through the first five home games of 2008. Way too early and way too small of a sample size to predict what the actual attendance numbers will be, especially since those numbers are tied into on-field performance, not to mention the Tribe's in the first year of their scaled ticket pricing program, but those early raw numbers are in line with an overall dip of 4.5% in attendance league-wide through the first 93 games of the season compared to 2008 numbers.