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Mariners to share profits for area improvements

Organization contributing $4.6 million to Public Facilities District
@gregjohnsmlb
May 14, 2019

SEATTLE -- Thanks to a one-time payout from Major League Baseball Advanced Media to each MLB team in 2018, the Mariners are contributing $4.6 million in their '18 profit-sharing agreement to the Public Facilities District that oversees operation and maintenance at their stadium, T-Mobile Park, as well as for improvements

SEATTLE -- Thanks to a one-time payout from Major League Baseball Advanced Media to each MLB team in 2018, the Mariners are contributing $4.6 million in their '18 profit-sharing agreement to the Public Facilities District that oversees operation and maintenance at their stadium, T-Mobile Park, as well as for improvements in the surrounding neighborhood.

The extra revenues will be earmarked by the PFD for a variety of necessary improvements at the ballpark, including ongoing major updates of the 20-year-old retractable roof mechanism as well as projects to improve the fan experience in and around T-Mobile Park. The payment is in addition to the $600 million the team has already committed to improve and maintain the publicly owned ballpark under terms of its newly signed 25-year lease.

The profit share is the result of a one-time $50 million payment to each Major League team from Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) for the 2017 sale of the majority stake in BAMTECH Media, the video streaming service spun off by MLBAM in '15.

“MLB was able to negotiate an excellent price for the sale of BAMTECH,” said Mariners CEO John Stanton. “Without the one-time windfall from MLB, the Mariners would not have had a profit for 2018 and there would have been no profit share with the PFD. This is great news for the ballpark, the fans and the neighborhoods that surround T-Mobile Park.”

The profit share will be split equally between the PFD’s Neighborhood Improvement Fund and the Capital Expenditures, or CapEx Fund. The CapEx Fund is to be used by the PFD for necessary ballpark improvements.

Under the new 25-year lease that just went into effect this year, the Mariners are responsible for at least $600 million to improve and maintain the publicly owned ballpark to ensure that T-Mobile Park is maintained in first-class condition.

The PFD’s Neighborhood Improvement Fund is to be used at the discretion of the PFD to support various projects in the Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District and SoDo neighborhoods and to improve the fan experience in and around the ballpark.

Beginning this year, under terms of the new lease, the Mariners will share a percent of revenues generated by the sale of tickets to games and events at T-Mobile Park, providing a guaranteed source of income for the PFD that is not dependent on club profits. Per the lease, future revenue-sharing payments will be deposited in the PFD’s Capital Expenditures Fund to be used for necessary ballpark improvements.

Under terms of the original lease, which expired at the end of 2018, the Mariners agreed to share profits with the PFD after the recovery of over $200 million in financial losses incurred by Mariners owners from July 1, 1995 through Oct. 31, 1999, in the final years of Kingdome operations.

The $200 million figure did not include losses the ownership group incurred from July 1, 1992, when the team was purchased, through June 30, 1995. Without the one-time payment from MLBAM, the Mariners would have maintained a cumulative net loss for 2018, and there would have been no profit share.

As in years past when there has been an operating profit, the club says there will be no distribution to Mariners owners.

The 2018 Profit Share Report is subject to review by the PFD and will be formally presented at the PFD’s quarterly meeting in June.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.