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Monday, August 6, 2012

Portland Timbers worth $15 million?

In a recent comment thread, we wondered if the Portland Timbers franchise was worth what its owners, the Paulson family, shelled out to set it up. A reader points out that these guys put the value of the Timbers brand at $15 million. The franchise fee was more than twice that, wasn't it?

Comments (19)

Yeah, but really they're worth what a willing buyer will pay. And who knows.

Sports teams also have a lot of intangible value for the rich, being one of the cooler toys you can buy. Don't forget the naming rights to Jeld-Wen, which ought to be transferable as well, at least for the remaining contract period. That has to be low to mid 7 figures per year.

Forbes recently ranked the 50 most valuable sports franchises and had Man U first at $2.23 billion (vs. the $853 million in the report you linked to), and had Real Madrid at $1.88 million (vs. $600 million). I'm no marketing type, but maybe the report you linked to means something narrower than franchise value when it talks about "brand value."


Franchise fee was $35 million.

Most AAA baseball teams are worth more; and I bet they have a deeper fam base as well.

It's long-term investment, not a trade.

Or a HUGE write-off.

You forget - MLS is one big-ass Ponzi scheme. As long as people believe Garber (I think he is still the MLS boss) that soccer is only up and to the right, then he can alway get the bigger fool theory to work.

Otherwise, they have to believe that when they watch Seattle or Portland on TV, that this is reality. Of course any other city is at about 40% capacity, but who cares? We're only down about $45M into PGE Park now.

The franchise fee may have been $35 million but what was it wholesale? I can't believe the Paulson's paid full gig.

Paulson's investment in the Timbers/PGE Park will pale to the investment yet to come when Paul Allen sell's him the Blazers for over $375 mil. This will allow Paulson to bring the NHL to Portland and re-brand the Blazer's to attract players, Coaches, and new fans.

Perhaps the Forbes valuation isn't net after debt.

So wait other MLS teams are only playing to about 40% capacity, Steve?



The San Jose Earthquakes are at 140% in attendance? Gee, that had to be crowded.

Anyone watching the Timbers on Sunday against Dallas saw around one third empty seats on the far side of the field.

So - unless my TV set was broken or my eyes were lying - that 100% attendance by the Timbers is off.

However, the fans that were there did see a goal by the Timbers, and that's about as common as a Bigfoot sighting. I await the next goal due sometime in mid-September.

Since the money the Paulson's used to pay for the team is all funny money brought about by various legal and illegal schemes, I don't think they really care how much they paid.

Anyone watching the Timbers on Sunday against Dallas saw around one third empty seats on the far side of the field.

Bill, you'd be right, but for one thing: those are corporate seats. They buy 'em, but see no reason to actually attend the games - so the stadium is 100% sold-out.

This truly rankles my Bride, whose dad is a Brit emigree and who used to play soccer. They're all die-hard fans, and they can't buy seats at the venue. I go upstairs when the game comes on - not because I have anything against soccer; I don't care about ANY sports - but because I know I'll hear endless griping when they see the empty seats.

When you've been married as long as I have, you know there are times when it's best to just get out of the line of fire.

I knew they were sold, but attendance should mean somebody attended. It's the first time I can remember seeing big patches of empty seats, partly because it was hot and partly because the Timbers are not.

I also think trading the goalie Perkins shows the dark heart of the Paulsons. Here we had a guy who almost had his nose torn off, in a questionable play, then he plays with a huge bandage on it in subsequent games, against the advice of the doctors, so how do the Paulsons reward him for being their classiest player?

They trade him to the team that tore up his nose.

I'm starting to wonder if Henry and Junior have a short position betting against the Timbers, so they make even more money if the team sucks.

It's a well-known Goldman Sachs move.

How many $8 beers and $5 hot dogs did those empty corporate seats buy?

Re: San Jose attendance. The Earthquakes are playing in Buck Shaw Stadium at the University of Santa Clara. Capacity there is 10,525.

Last month, they played the LA Galaxy at Stanford's stadium, drawing something in the range of 45,000. Hence the 140 percent of capacity.

Those empty seats were on the sunny side of the stadium on a 96 degree day. Even if I had a seat there I would've probably stood underneath the roof rather than fry.

I think the franchise fee is actually not paid all at once, I think it's spread out over 10 years.

1) There's not a sport in the US that counts attendance by the number of butts in seats. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, you name it, they all use tickets sold.

2) I don't think anybody doubts that the Timbers were quite easily able to sell all of their tickets for the season. Jack included.

3) The folks who pay for those really expensive seats have access to the air conditioned "Key Club", which allows them to watch the game from indoors if they can't stand a 90 degree day.

4) The Timbers are lousy and so is Dallas. There probably were no-shows, and there probably will be no-shows later in the season unless the Timbers turn the ship around. What will be interesting is to see how this season affects season ticket numbers for next year.

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