In the world of professional sports, only eight other teams pay better than the Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, you heard that correctly: The Phillies rank ninth, worldwide, averaging a weekly payroll of $111,884.
That’s according to a study conducted by Sporting Intelligence on behalf of ESPN. In the United States, only the Los Angeles Lakers (5th highest – $120,732 weekly payroll) and the New York Yankees (6th – $118,968) pay more to their players.
The Phillies moved up four spots on this ranking in the last year, from 13th in 2011. The other seven teams ranked in the top 10 are all European soccer clubs – Barcelona ($166,934), Real Madrid ($149,935), Manchester City ($142,380), Chelsea ($130,690), AC Milan ($117,399), Bayern Munich ($113,609) and Internazionale ($109,633).
It’s not surprising that the Phillies made this list, nor is it surprising that they are ranked as high as they are. The team has been quite good over the last few years, attracting sell-out crowds of fans who spend money at the ballpark and on merchandise. That has led the franchise to re-invest a good portion of that revenue on high-priced players.
What is surprising is that the Philadelphia 76ers – which have struggled to compete on the court and attract consistent sell-out crowds – rank #23, with an average weekly payroll of $92,345. Not the greatest business model now, is it?
The Philadelphia Flyers rank 100th ($48,554), and the Philadelphia Eagles rank 128th ($42,949).