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Payroll comments from Ricketts

davell
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Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby davell » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:37 pm

Figured it needed its own thread. I'm on my cell, so I can't paste the article from yhe Trib. At any rate, he said that payroll during the last years of the Trib were "unsustainable". Really? Higher tickets prices, team made money during the last year of that bloated payroll(according to Ricketts) and all the profits are supposed to go into the team(Ricketts words, even if they WERE stupid).

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Tim » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:39 pm

davell wrote:Figured it needed its own thread. I'm on my cell, so I can't paste the article from yhe Trib. At any rate, he said that payroll during the last years of the Trib were "unsustainable". Really? Higher tickets prices, team made money during the last year of that bloated payroll(according to Ricketts) and all the profits are supposed to go into the team(Ricketts words, even if they WERE stupid).

It may be that they ARE unsustainable if you're also spending money on the other things the Cubs are currently investing in.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby davell » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:49 pm

They've yet to spend on the renovation though. Hell, the extra ad revenue they created has probably paid for the Dominican Academy. This is the owner of a major market baseball team. Fielding 150 mill payroll should never be "unsustainable" in my eyes. The revenue the renovation and the new TV deal will hopefully allow for it, but I definitely see the route Theo took. The ability to buy out mistakes doesn't appear to be nearly as much as I was thinking it could be.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:50 pm

Tim wrote:
davell wrote:Figured it needed its own thread. I'm on my cell, so I can't paste the article from yhe Trib. At any rate, he said that payroll during the last years of the Trib were "unsustainable". Really? Higher tickets prices, team made money during the last year of that bloated payroll(according to Ricketts) and all the profits are supposed to go into the team(Ricketts words, even if they WERE stupid).

It may be that they ARE unsustainable if you're also spending money on the other things the Cubs are currently investing in.


Maybe, but I'm just leaning toward a meaningless buzzword that Ricketts is using to try to spin things the way he wants them spun.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby seanimal » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:20 pm

what kind of crappy phone doesn't have copy and paste?

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby davell » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:49 pm

seanimal wrote:what kind of crappy phone doesn't have copy and paste?

I've got a Samsung Galaxy S3. It CAN copy and paste, but anytime I've tried, it says I can't go back to the previous window.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby CubinNY » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:13 pm

It's probably just posturing, but on its face (if that is what he actually said), it is laughable.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:15 pm

I feel like I've heard that quote before, maybe from a recap of the convention.

For reference, in 2009 and 2010 the Cubs had a payroll equivalent to having a 150-155 million payroll this year. I'm not going to pretend to know the "sustainability" of that payroll, but for a team/ownership that a) doesn't have a huge TV deal, b) only has 3 home playoff games in the past 9 years and c) an ownership unwilling to operate at a loss or near-loss, I could see that being the case. Of course, they still might be making money hand over fist with a middling team and a $150 million payroll too, I've never been that plugged in to ownership/valuation stuff to have an educated opinion on it.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby davell » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:59 pm

I'm pretty sure I saw an article on Forbes that mentioned we profited 25 mill + in 2010. Attendance was 3.2 mill that year and our payroll was 144 mill +, according to Cots. We've added revenue streams since then and upped ticket prices as well. Its a major market team. When the time comes in 2-3 years that 150 mill is NEEDED, if Ricketts can't handle that, he shouldn't be owner of the Cubs, as far as I'm concerned. The renovations and new TV deal honestly shouldn't be needed for us to be able to handle 150. He gets a pass right now, since we're rebuilding, but if this IS the case, it makes it that much easier to see why Theo took the approach he did.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Castro's Spray Chart » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:30 pm

UNforeseeable.
neely wrote:but in reality
2006 .364
2007 .351
2008 his one big year
2009 .347
2010 90 games played
2011 .323
what do you call that?

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby David » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:06 am

Sullivan being a [expletive] tool.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ba ... 1485.story

For years the Cubs were the only game on TV across the country in the daytime, making them a nationally beloved entity through thick and thin. That in turn helped increase the franchise's value from $20.5 million in 1981 when Tribune Co. bought it to $845 million when the Ricketts family purchased the team, the ballpark and 25 percent of Comcast SportsNet in 2009.

But Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts is always looking to increase the team's revenue sources, and now it appears likely the team will wave goodbye to their longtime TV home when its contract ends after the 2014 season.

Ricketts declined to address their plans on Sunday, except to say a discussion on rights fees will begin in 2013.

"Obviously local media rights have been increasing in value," he said. "Hopefully at some point we will be able to get more value for our media rights. It's just something that's playing out over time."


The Rickettses have shed players, managers, announcers, executives, scouts, even the employee responsible for getting the seventh-inning stretch singers over the last two years. But leaving WGN would mark the end of an era soaked in nostalgia.

The Cubs are a bottom-line team, and have decreased payroll by 25 percent in the first three seasons of the Ricketts family ownership.
But Ricketts said: "You're kind of comparing it to Tribune (Co.) payrolls of the last couple years, which, from our standpoint and the team standpoint, were just unsustainable."

Tribune Co. steadily decreased the number of Cubs games on WGN over the years because more money could be made on cable. And now that Tribune Co. no longer owns the team, the Rickettses have no obligation to keep the games on their station.

"We'll find out a lot more over the next 12 months," Ricketts said.

The Cubs have explored having their own network, and a source said they've even filmed interviews with legendary players for future use in network programming. But asked about those plans, Ricketts said, "we're still in the early stages and don't have all the options laid out."

The rights fees are expected to increase significantly after the WGN contract ends, but their deal with Comcast SportsNet runs through 2019. Ricketts said the Cubs have a "great partnership with WGN" and the fact that fans across the country can see them on the superstation will be a "factor" in the decision.

But tradition and fans obviously won't play into the decision as much as money.
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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby KingCubsFan » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:30 am

Good to see Sullivan has moved on from trashing players that won't talk to him (Ramirez and Prior) to owners/front office people that won't talk to him.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby CUBZ99 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:51 am

David wrote:Sullivan being a [expletive] tool.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ba ... 1485.story

For years the Cubs were the only game on TV across the country in the daytime, making them a nationally beloved entity through thick and thin. That in turn helped increase the franchise's value from $20.5 million in 1981 when Tribune Co. bought it to $845 million when the Ricketts family purchased the team, the ballpark and 25 percent of Comcast SportsNet in 2009.

But Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts is always looking to increase the team's revenue sources, and now it appears likely the team will wave goodbye to their longtime TV home when its contract ends after the 2014 season.

Ricketts declined to address their plans on Sunday, except to say a discussion on rights fees will begin in 2013.

"Obviously local media rights have been increasing in value," he said. "Hopefully at some point we will be able to get more value for our media rights. It's just something that's playing out over time."


The Rickettses have shed players, managers, announcers, executives, scouts, even the employee responsible for getting the seventh-inning stretch singers over the last two years. But leaving WGN would mark the end of an era soaked in nostalgia.

The Cubs are a bottom-line team, and have decreased payroll by 25 percent in the first three seasons of the Ricketts family ownership.
But Ricketts said: "You're kind of comparing it to Tribune (Co.) payrolls of the last couple years, which, from our standpoint and the team standpoint, were just unsustainable."

Tribune Co. steadily decreased the number of Cubs games on WGN over the years because more money could be made on cable. And now that Tribune Co. no longer owns the team, the Rickettses have no obligation to keep the games on their station.

"We'll find out a lot more over the next 12 months," Ricketts said.

The Cubs have explored having their own network, and a source said they've even filmed interviews with legendary players for future use in network programming. But asked about those plans, Ricketts said, "we're still in the early stages and don't have all the options laid out."

The rights fees are expected to increase significantly after the WGN contract ends, but their deal with Comcast SportsNet runs through 2019. Ricketts said the Cubs have a "great partnership with WGN" and the fact that fans across the country can see them on the superstation will be a "factor" in the decision.

But tradition and fans obviously won't play into the decision as much as money.


To sum up the quotes, Sullivan said that the Cubs' have benefited over the years from having a national audience, thanks in part to WGN. The national audience helped increase the value of the club. Now the club can make more money if they ditch WGN. He also points out that the Cubs' are under no obligation to stay on WGN.

I think he pretty much sums up the situation.

The worst thing about the quotes, is that Ricketts is now claiming that a $150MM payroll is unsustainable for the team. Granted, payroll is not the only factor determinative over whether or not a team will be good, but with the right management, it should give a team a big advantage over smaller market teams.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Bull » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:46 am

CUBZ99 wrote:
David wrote:Sullivan being a [expletive] tool.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ba ... 1485.story

For years the Cubs were the only game on TV across the country in the daytime, making them a nationally beloved entity through thick and thin. That in turn helped increase the franchise's value from $20.5 million in 1981 when Tribune Co. bought it to $845 million when the Ricketts family purchased the team, the ballpark and 25 percent of Comcast SportsNet in 2009.

But Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts is always looking to increase the team's revenue sources, and now it appears likely the team will wave goodbye to their longtime TV home when its contract ends after the 2014 season.

Ricketts declined to address their plans on Sunday, except to say a discussion on rights fees will begin in 2013.

"Obviously local media rights have been increasing in value," he said. "Hopefully at some point we will be able to get more value for our media rights. It's just something that's playing out over time."


The Rickettses have shed players, managers, announcers, executives, scouts, even the employee responsible for getting the seventh-inning stretch singers over the last two years. But leaving WGN would mark the end of an era soaked in nostalgia.

The Cubs are a bottom-line team, and have decreased payroll by 25 percent in the first three seasons of the Ricketts family ownership.
But Ricketts said: "You're kind of comparing it to Tribune (Co.) payrolls of the last couple years, which, from our standpoint and the team standpoint, were just unsustainable."

Tribune Co. steadily decreased the number of Cubs games on WGN over the years because more money could be made on cable. And now that Tribune Co. no longer owns the team, the Rickettses have no obligation to keep the games on their station.

"We'll find out a lot more over the next 12 months," Ricketts said.

The Cubs have explored having their own network, and a source said they've even filmed interviews with legendary players for future use in network programming. But asked about those plans, Ricketts said, "we're still in the early stages and don't have all the options laid out."

The rights fees are expected to increase significantly after the WGN contract ends, but their deal with Comcast SportsNet runs through 2019. Ricketts said the Cubs have a "great partnership with WGN" and the fact that fans across the country can see them on the superstation will be a "factor" in the decision.

But tradition and fans obviously won't play into the decision as much as money.


To sum up the quotes, Sullivan said that the Cubs' have benefited over the years from having a national audience, thanks in part to WGN. The national audience helped increase the value of the club. Now the club can make more money if they ditch WGN. He also points out that the Cubs' are under no obligation to stay on WGN.

I think he pretty much sums up the situation.

The worst thing about the quotes, is that Ricketts is now claiming that a $150MM payroll is unsustainable for the team. Granted, payroll is not the only factor determinative over whether or not a team will be good, but with the right management, it should give a team a big advantage over smaller market teams.


I was actually happy to read that in context.

What I see is not that the payroll is unsustainable, but that it is unsustainable unless you cash in on the media rights.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Illini Iceman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:40 pm

EVEN THE EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING THE SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH SINGERS!?!? WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END!?!? IS NOTHING SACRED!?!?
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Rob » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:59 pm

Illini Iceman wrote:EVEN THE EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING THE SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH SINGERS!?!? WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END!?!? IS NOTHING SACRED!?!?


Hopefully they can just install Kelly Pickler as the full-time seventh inning stretch singer.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby jumbo » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:39 am

Rob wrote:
Illini Iceman wrote:EVEN THE EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING THE SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH SINGERS!?!? WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END!?!? IS NOTHING SACRED!?!?


Hopefully they can just install Kelly Pickler as the full-time seventh inning stretch singer.


Make sure she's still got the implants and I'd get behind that

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby JeffH » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:43 am

jumbo wrote:
Rob wrote:
Illini Iceman wrote:EVEN THE EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING THE SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH SINGERS!?!? WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END!?!? IS NOTHING SACRED!?!?


Hopefully they can just install Kelly Pickler as the full-time seventh inning stretch singer.


Make sure she's still got the implants and I'd get behind that


So to speak.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby jersey cubs fan » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:57 am

That payroll number was sustainable, the growth rate of the payroll was not sustainable.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby David » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:18 am

Maybe it isn't sustainable (with the current revenue situation - not with a renovated Wrigley and new TV money) if they want to spend the way they want to in areas other than big league payroll.

That's all I can figure he means by that if he's being truthful, but even that is undercut by the fact that you can no longer go nuts in the draft. We'll spend as much as we can in the draft and IFA, but that's still much less than it would've been two years ago and not near enough to say that you have to cut MLB payroll by 40-50M.

That said, I have absolutely NO idea how much of that money they've had to allocate to all of the infrastructural improvements the last year or two...and there have been a lot of them. Those were areas of the organization that were in awful shape due to decades of neglect.
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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby davell » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:33 am

While true, I'm pretty sure that doesn't come from the baseball ops budget. If they have to take away from that, in order to restore the facilities, its not a good thing, in my opinion. Its not like this crept up on them, they knew going in(and received a discounted overall sale price) because of these factors. I understand the Ricketts family isn't the Guggenheim Group, but this team shouldn't have to rob Peter to pay Paul either. In the end, the new TV deal and renovations may make this a moot point, but it certainly makes sense why Theo took the route he did. He may not have had a choice.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby David » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:38 am

davell wrote:While true, I'm pretty sure that doesn't come from the baseball ops budget. If they have to take away from that, in order to restore the facilities, its not a good thing, in my opinion. Its not like this crept up on them, they knew going in(and received a discounted overall sale price) because of these factors. I understand the Ricketts family isn't the Guggenheim Group, but this team shouldn't have to rob Peter to pay Paul either. In the end, the new TV deal and renovations may make this a moot point, but it certainly makes sense why Theo took the route he did. He may not have had a choice.


I actually was getting more at all of the things Theo has been implementing. All of the hires and the technological improvements throughout the organization.

I'm sure it doesn't come close to accounting for the difference, but I don't have the foggiest idea of how much it actually costs.

I feel like if you said $5-10M was going toward all of that up front, it'd be more than generous. But I don't know about these things.
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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby davell » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:48 am

Yeah, I agree. The computer system alone was expensive. I can't imagine we're spending more on these things though, than the numbers you threw out. The cover up phrase is "behind the scenes" and we'll never know. With them wanting to bring everyone along from the bottom up, I wish someone could ask Ricketts to elaborate somewhat. Not a dollar amount, just more about what that phrase even means, assuming its not just a coverup of spending less.

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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:54 am

davell wrote:Yeah, I agree. The computer system alone was expensive. I can't imagine we're spending more on these things though, than the numbers you threw out. The cover up phrase is "behind the scenes" and we'll never know. With them wanting to bring everyone along from the bottom up,I wish someone could ask Ricketts to elaborate somewhat. Not a dollar amount, just more about what that phrase even means, assuming its not just a coverup of spending less.

None of the dumb [expletive] reporters that cover the Cubs will even think of that. Instead they are probably busy tracking down the 7th inning stretch guy/girl who got fired to do an expose on him/her. Which brings up another question, how was that even a full time job? That seems to be something that can be covered by a few different people in marketing/PR/communications coming together once or twice a week to schedule the "singers" for the next week/homestand?
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Re: Payroll comments from Ricketts

Postby seanimal » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:57 am

davell wrote:Yeah, I agree. The computer system alone was expensive. I can't imagine we're spending more on these things though, than the numbers you threw out. The cover up phrase is "behind the scenes" and we'll never know. With them wanting to bring everyone along from the bottom up, I wish someone could ask Ricketts to elaborate somewhat. Not a dollar amount, just more about what that phrase even means, assuming its not just a coverup of spending less.


i definitely get the anxiety over the thought that he may have meant that in terms of absolute dollar amount, but i don't think it takes a whole lot of imagination to assume that he was referring to spending that much money on the major league roster while the the rest of the organization was incredibly unhealthy, playing in a run-down facility, and failing to maximize revenue.


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