October 31, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in Livewire with 3 comments
Quietly, a big piece of news about the American Ultimate Disc League was slipped into a French language newspaper in Montreal: the going price for an AUDL franchise is $15,000.
It is fairly difficult to discern exactly where pro ultimate will be in even three years. Right now, it’s fairly clear that both the AUDL and Major League Ultimate are losing money. Attendance has not been enough to cover the high costs both leagues face in terms of travel, video production, stadium rentals, etc.
Yet consider this. Two years ago, Bryan Ricci bought the Connecticut Constitution franchise for $100. Last year, AUDL franchises were going for $5000. Now that number has tripled to $15000.
Major League Ultimate ownership shares were going for $125,000 last year; it is unclear whether that number has gone up or if the league has sold more shares this year (the league did not sell all eight team shares last year).
[A reminder: AUDL owners are responsible for the operating costs of their individual teams. So they pay well more than $15,000 to run their franchise. MLU shareholders are not responsible for paying beyond their initial buy-in, assuming the league remains solvent. The league pays centrally for the costs of all the teams.]
These are significant numbers for any investor, particularly one in the highly unstable world of professional sports. Is it encouraging that the prices to get involved on the business side of pro ultimate continue to increase?