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Seattle Mariners share profit with the Public Facilities District

$4.6 million to be spent on neighborhood improvements and ballpark capital expenditures
May 14, 2019

The Seattle Mariners are contributing an additional $4.6 million for improvements around T-Mobile Park’s neighborhood and to pay for ballpark capital maintenance work. The payment is from the Club’s sharing of profits from 2018 with the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD), which owns T-Mobile Park.

The Seattle Mariners are contributing an additional $4.6 million for improvements around T-Mobile Park’s neighborhood and to pay for ballpark capital maintenance work. The payment is from the Club’s sharing of profits from 2018 with the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD), which owns T-Mobile Park. The revenues will be used by the PFD for a variety of necessary improvements at the ballpark including on-going major updates of the 20-year old retractable roof mechanism as well as for 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.

The profit share is the result of a one-time, non-recurring $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 2015.

“MLB was able to negotiate an excellent price for the sale of BAMTECH. 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,” said John Stanton, Seattle Mariners Chairman and Managing Partner. “This is great news for the ballpark, the fans and the neighborhoods that surround T-Mobile Park.”

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

The Mariners profit share payment 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 current 25-year lease, 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 CapEx 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 recovery of over $200 million in financial losses incurred by Mariners owners from July 1, 1995 through October 31, 1999. (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.

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