Padres President/COO interviewed about Forbes Article and Ballpark Debt

Tom Garfinkel

XX Sports Radio: Tom Garfinkel Interview with Scott and BR (MP3)

  • Forbes says the Padres profited $37 million last year.  Garfinkel says that's not accurate.  "The number that they used is inaccurate.  It's also a before interest/taxes/depreciation number.  When you subtract all those things out - we are in the top 3 in interest expense in baseball because of the ballpark debt.  We have high depreciation because of the ballpark.  So when you subtract those things out there's nothing left.  We're actually budget to break even."
  • "The important thing is that all the money that comes into the team stays in the team.  There have been no distributions to ownership and there won't be any.  I think to say that we're the most profitable team in baseball is misleading."
  • Garfinkel doesn't think he needs to contact the Forbes author that wrote the article.  "It's not based on any information or fact."  He says it's just their best guesses, sometimes they get pretty close and other times they are way off.
  • When asked if there is $30 million debt on the ballpark, Garfinkel answers "Between interest, expenses, taxes and depreciation it's pretty close to that."
  • Having one of the best ballparks in the league comes with consequences.  The tax payers and the team paid big chunk of the ballpark expenses. "Even though that's a bit of a burden on operations, it's okay because we have this fantastic ballpark, so no one is complaining about it.  It's just a reality that was - mischaracterized as this wildly profitable organization.  We budgeted to break even on a cash basis." 
  • After acquiring players mid-season last year they actually lost some money.
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