Hallelujah, baseball is back for a full season (at least that's the plan) and we can get back to see live games.
All is certainly not yet back to normal. In Philadelphia, just 8,800 will be allowed in for the first 19 games of the 2021 season at Citizens Bank Park. That's about 20% of capacity. That limitation has put a great deal of pressure on ticket prices; I found out the hard way when purchasing several for an early April game. My typical routine of hitting StubHub just a few hours before a Phillies game in order to get great seats at great prices will not work in this environment. That's OK, though. It will be great just to see live Phillies baseball again after last year's fiasco.
While I'd love to own a small piece of the Phillies, the team is not publicly traded, as most Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are not. However, the Atlanta Braves are, via the Liberty Braves Group (BATRA) (BATRB) (BATRK) . I took a swing at BATRA back in late October and it has paid off, so far, anyway, up about 50%. To take that position as a lifelong Phillies fan may be considered blasphemy by some; however, I can't resist an undervalued name, and especially one with baseball ties.
At the time of purchase, BATRA, which includes the Braves and Battery Atlanta -- comprised of mixed-use commercial real estate next to the Braves' Truist Park -- had an enterprise value (EV), which is market cap plus debt minus cash, of $1.46 billion; that seemed to leave plenty of meat on the bone. Last April, Forbes valued the Braves at $1.8 billion, the 12th most valuable Major League baseball team, well behind the first-place Yankees, which were valued at $5 billion. Keep in mind, that list was published during the pandemic, and it will be interesting to see how the Braves are valued this year. Forbes' annual list of franchise valuations is typically published in April
BATRA's EV is now just under $2.1 billion, and while the easy money (and it's never really easy) has been made, this is one that I plan to hang onto for a while. It is one of the few ways to get exposure to a MLB franchise, and the value should rise over the years.