Sacramento River Cats

River Cats again most valuable minor-league team

Babbie and Matt Grimenstein of El Dorado Hills stay warm down the right field line on a chilly night as the Sacramento River Cats host the Salt Lake City Bees in the season’s first game at Raley Field in West Sacramento on April 15, 2016.
Babbie and Matt Grimenstein of El Dorado Hills stay warm down the right field line on a chilly night as the Sacramento River Cats host the Salt Lake City Bees in the season’s first game at Raley Field in West Sacramento on April 15, 2016. jvillegas@sacbee.com

The River Cats are again the most valuable team in the minor leagues, according to Forbes.

The magazine lists the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate tops for 2016 in value at $49 million. The team’s value is up from $38 million in 2013, the last time the magazine published minor-league baseball valuations.

The River Cats were also the most valuable minor-league team in 2013.

Minor-league baseball’s 20 most valuable teams are worth an average of $37.5 million, according to the magazine’s calculations.

Forbes pointed to good attendance at Raley Field, relatively high incomes of potential fans, fun promotions, visits from rehabilitating major-league players and “some of the highest-priced ticket options in the minor leagues” for the organization’s success.

Forbes started with 160 teams, which was reduced to the top 50 teams in attendance last season. Teams earn most of their revenue from ticket sales, luxury suites, sponsorships, parking, concessions and stadium naming rights. Forbes also used audits, reports and stadium leases to determine estimates of team revenues and expenses.

In second place on Forbes’ list is the Charlotte Knights, Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The North Carolina team’s value was listed at $47.5 million.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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