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Thread: The Pohlad's and the Cry for Them to Spend More Money

  1. #1

    The Pohlad's and the Cry for Them to Spend More Money

    Lots of Twins fans pine away for the Pohlad's to spend more money on payroll. Did you ever stop and think about the transactions that must take place before they can do that? In other words, where does the money come from?

    The Minnesota Twins LLC is a limited liability corporation. Jim Pohlad is the CEO, Dave St. Peter is the President. The board of directors include Jim Pohlad, Bob Pohlad, Bill Pohlad, Dave St. Peter, and Jerry Bell. It is likely that these five individuals own stock in the LLC and that the Pohlad's own a controlling interest. There are probably other shareholders as well. So if the Twins want to increase payroll they have to find the money somewhere. It's either in a bank (or other financial) account under the corporation's name or they have to get a loan from a bank or from individuals. I'm guessing that if the Twins need money they don't take out a bank loan, rather they get it from the Pohlad personal fortune.

    So how does the Pohlad's money get into the Minnesota Twins' bank account(s)? I'm guessing that the Pohlad's make a personal loan out to the Minnesota Twins LLC, with the expectation of getting paid back at some point. I doubt that they issue more shares of stock, but they could. In other words when fans clamor for the Pohlad's to quit being so cheap and spend more money in essence they are asking them to loan their personal money to a corporation. The Pohlad's don't write out personal checks to Joe Mauer every two weeks to cover his contract. The money comes out of the LLC. So the calculation that the Pohlad's and the Twins board of directors must make is: 1. How much money should I loan to the company? and 2. When and how will I get paid back?

    The construction of Target Field helped the owners capture more revenues than they were getting at the Metrodome. That's why payroll went from $65M in 2009 to $98M in 2010. The Twins owners knew they could recoup their money. It also helps to explain why the Twins had such lousy payrolls in the mid to late 90's. With the MetroDome lease they couldn't see a way to get their money back.

    Some owners might have a higher tolerance for the time frame needed to recover their money, or they have more revenue streams than the Twins, or both. For example, it is easy for the Steinbrenners to sink their money into the Yankees because they own the YES TV network, the new Yankees stadium, etc. etc. and they can be (mostly) assured that they will recoup their money. When fans yell for owners to spend more money on the team what they are really asking them to do is make riskier loans to the corporation. Their personal wealth is not the deciding factor. No baseball owner is going to throw money away on their team without the expectation of getting it back.

    My point is that there is the wall of separation between an owner's personal money and the money that the corporation controls.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star
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    We don't know and, if the owners have their way, never will know, where all avenues of revenue come from. Agents and the player's association are not allowed to look at owner's books. The Dodger fiasco showed how some owners are willing to hide/move money into different places to lower official revenue. Other owners have paid family members huge sums of money for "work" which came out of the teams budget. Sports Illustrated (I believe) noted that most people inside baseball believe that player salaries have not grown as fast as owner's revenues and that today player's might make less than 50% of baseball revenues, as opposed to a decade or so ago when they made something around 57%. Sorry I'm too lazy to look for that link.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    We don't know and, if the owners have their way, never will know, where all avenues of revenue come from.
    This is true but by examining new stadium deals and digging up info from the CBA, we can make good guesses. The concession revenues at Target Field are basically an ATM for the Pohlads. The profit margins on everything is incredible. How many beers an hour do they have to sell at $7.25 a bottle to show a profit, including paying the guy hawking the beer? Two beers? I'm pretty sure that beer vendors sell more than two beers an hour. Ha!

    Sports Illustrated (I believe) noted that most people inside baseball believe that player salaries have not grown as fast as owner's revenues and that today player's might make less than 50% of baseball revenues, as opposed to a decade or so ago when they made something around 57%.
    I've heard similar things about the player's share decreasing, but I think it's still above 50% but just barely. The Twins have said their payroll is 55% of their gross revenues, to which I would respond--Yeah, and what year was that and for how many years?

    In any event, if the Pohlads want to increase payroll beyond their percent of revenue threshold, they probably make a personal loan out to the company. They simply cannot keep doing this, unless they are idiots for businessman, and I don't think they are.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  4. #4
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Do you have a source reference for "The Minnesota Twins LLC" as the owner of the Twins?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Do you have a source reference for "The Minnesota Twins LLC" as the owner of the Twins?


    http://mblsportal.sos.state.mn.us/Bu...6-001ec94ffe7f
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Terrific writeup, powrwrap. The Twin's LLC DOES have other shareholders. The board has a fiduciary responsibility to them that supercedes any "responsibility" they have to us as fans. I opposed the public financing of the stadium. Not because Carl Pohlad was rich, but because I was irritated by the incongruity of public financing without full financial disclosure on the part of the Twins, and because of the structure of the deal. The team has no obligation to the players and their union to open the books, but I really think we as taxpayers deserve more transparency.

    If I was the Czar, I'd step in and stifle the greed all around: players, owners, agents, and fans. How ridiculous is it that games are out of reach financially for so many families? As Czar, ticket prices would go down, salaries would go down, public financing would cease. And the players would still play, even at a frifth of what they make right now.

  7. #7
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    This reference proves none of claims in your original post.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    This reference proves none of claims in your original post.
    Asked and answered your question. What is your beef?
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    USAF, there may be innaccuracies, but remember, his point was simply that there is a "wall" (distinction?) between Twins money and personal money. That particular claim is spot on.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    USAF, there may be innaccuracies, but remember, his point was simply that there is a "wall" (distinction?) between Twins money and personal money. That particular claim is spot on.
    Yes, that is my main point, separation between corporate funds and personal funds.

    Also, I am speculating as to how the Twins' get their money which is why I used words like "I'm guessing", "probably" and "might".
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  11. #11
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Highabove's Avatar
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    In 2010 the Twins showed an operating income of 26.5 million dollars
    2011 the Twins showed an operating income of 16.6 million dollars

    Those are not bad before tax earnings.


    The Business Of Baseball, 2011


    The Business Of Baseball
    Last edited by Highabove; 07-09-2012 at 08:39 PM.

  12. #12
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    Regardless of the ownership situation, they can spend more money if they want to. They choose not to. That's their right. It is also the fans' right to stop spending money on a AAAA product at MLB prices. Which will only decrease revenue, which will lead them to get a lower payroll, and a vicious cycle will be borne out, until either the cheap youth is great, or the owners spend more money on legit free agents.
    Lighten up Francis....

  13. #13
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powrwrap View Post
    Asked and answered your question. What is your beef?
    I have never before heard that people outside the Pohlad family own any part of the Twins, nor that an LLC "owns" the Twins. I want to see some proof before I believe any of those claims.

  14. #14
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highabove View Post
    In 2010 the Twins showed an operating income of 26.5 million dollars
    2011 the Twins showed an operating income of 16.6 million dollars

    Those are not bad before tax earnings.

    The Business Of Baseball, 2011


    The Business Of Baseball
    Nor is the return on investement of the original purchase, which went for $45M when purchased, to the team's current estimated $500M value.

    Ownership could chose to spend more, quite a bit more, on major league salary if they wanted, and not lose money. They don't. It's as simple as that.

  15. #15
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    Wait till he sells the team then you will see that he made 5 times what he paid for it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    I have never before heard that people outside the Pohlad family own any part of the Twins, nor that an LLC "owns" the Twins. I want to see some proof before I believe any of those claims.
    I showed you that the Twins are an LLC. It's a given that if you are on the board of directors of a corporation and active in the day-to-day running of the company you are going to own stock in that company.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Regardless of the ownership situation, they can spend more money if they want to.
    Yes, they COULD spend more money, which at this juncture probably means they are throwing it away.

    It is also the fans' right to stop spending money on a AAAA product at MLB prices.
    Absolutely.

    Which will only decrease revenue, which will lead them to get a lower payroll, and a vicious cycle will be borne out, until either the cheap youth is great, or the owners spend more money on legit free agents.
    I'm sure the Twins have figured out their break even attendance numbers vs. payroll. Quick guesstimate, one point on the graph could be around 18,000-20,000 fans a game and around $80M in payroll. That sounds a lot like next year.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  18. #18
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powrwrap View Post
    I showed you that the Twins are an LLC. It's a given that if you are on the board of directors of a corporation and active in the day-to-day running of the company you are going to own stock in that company.
    You have shown that a corporation named "Minnesota Twins LLC" was registered. You have not shown what, if anything, that corporation does. You have not shown they own the Twins, or if they do, what the corporate structure looks like or who owns stock. You could be correct, but nothing you've posted is in any way proof of that.

    I do know the Twins formed an LLC to facilitate stadium funding and construction. Perhaps that's what this is. Perhaps not. I don't know, but I'm skeptical at best that the Pohlad family has given ownership to people outside the family.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Ownership could chose to spend more, quite a bit more, on major league salary if they wanted, and not lose money. They don't. It's as simple as that.
    On a year-by-year basis, I don't think so. If they were to sell out every game, as they almost did in 2010, how high would you say their payroll can go and they still break even?
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    You have shown that a corporation named "Minnesota Twins LLC" was registered. You have not shown what, if anything, that corporation does. You have not shown they own the Twins, or if they do, what the corporate structure looks like or who owns stock. You could be correct, but nothing you've posted is in any way proof of that.
    Yes, privately held corporations don't need to divulge anything to the public. If Minnesota Twins LLC don't own the team, what the heck do they do? David St. Peter is listed as the manager.

    I do know the Twins formed an LLC to facilitate stadium funding and construction. Perhaps that's what this is. Perhaps not. I don't know, but I'm skeptical at best that the Pohlad family has given ownership to people outside the family.
    I think that is Twins Ballpark LLC.

    Target Field is managed and operated by Twins Ballpark, LLC, a limited liability company ("Twins Ballpark").


    http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/d...procedures.pdf
    Last edited by powrwrap; 07-09-2012 at 10:14 PM.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

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