Surprise! Braves revenues falling as team struggles through mediocre season

As if the #BadSportsTown crew needed any more ammunition, the Atlanta Braves announced that the franchise’s revenue has fallen in the first half of 2015.

Liberty Media Corp., the Braves’ parent company, disclosed its quarterly earnings to the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, revealing that the franchise has lost $14 million in the first half of the year, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. Among the reasons for the decline, Liberty said, were lower attendance figures, fewer dollars made in concessions and fewer home games played through June 30 compared to last year.

(Considering I spent $47 on two H&F burgers, fries and two beers the other night when I attended a Braves game, you’d think they’d be doing alright.)

There’s certainly something to be said for the four fewer home games the Braves played through the end of June (35), compared to the 39 they played in the same time frame in 2014. But the team is also drawing an average of about 3,800 fewer fans per game, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

(Photos: SunTrust Park construction, August update)

The Braves were holding near the .500 mark at the end of June, with a 36-41 record. Going into Saturday’s game, the Braves are 50-60, 9.5 games out of the National League East lead. The deficit – both in the division and on the bottom line – will likely grow as the 2015 season ends because the team has sold off even more important pieces since the end of June.

For comparison, on June 30, 2014, the Braves had a 45-38 record and were leading the division.

But these are all growing pains for a rebuilding franchise that hasn’t done much rebuilding in the past 25 years. The front office knew they’d be taking a hit financially, but if their rebuilding plan pans out, they’ll be rolling in dough a few years from now.

And if the team stinks in 2017 and beyond, well, that’s why they’re building that new multi-purpose facility next to SunTrust Park.

Photo: AP/David Goldman

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