MLB Fighting Two Battles

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    • MLB team owners face an uphill battle in suggesting to split revenue with players as they look to start the season in July.

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As talk of starting the season heats up, Major League Baseball is keeping tabs on two different discussions. The league is working with the MLBPA on plans to start in July, but they hinge on team owners’ proposal of a 50/50 revenue split, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Players worry that could set a precedent that ultimately leads to a salary cap. MLB is the only big-four league that doesn’t tie salaries to team revenue. Owners say profit sharing will help offset the expected 40% decline in revenue caused by holding games without fans in a shortened season. Players counter that the proposed expansion of the postseason could help offset losses with more TV money.

MLB vs. MiLB

Meanwhile, MLB’s dust-up with Minor League Baseball could be cooling. MiLB’s fight against a move to cut 42 teams from the system is softening as the pandemic puts a strain on teams across the country, according to the New York Times. Minor League teams rely on spectators to drive their average annual revenue of $5.4 million per team. That mostly goes to paying team employees and rent. Teams pay $65 million in total rent annually, most of which goes to local governments.

Without a season, or fans, the squeeze is on for the 160 affiliated franchises, which are worth between $3 million and $25 million each. Individual MiLB teams might receive money from the Paycheck Protection Program, but the organization hopes to qualify for the Federal Reserve’s $600 billion Main Street Lending Program.