According to a piece on SBJ, the Oakland A’s ball club is “in danger of losing some or even all” of its annual revenue sharing check under terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, which expires on December 1. The team was “grandfathered into the (current) program” because of its “antiquated stadium, despite being in a larger market,” and due to this it received around $34 million from revenue-sharing alone last season.
According to fangraphs.com, revenue sharing was instituted by the MLB in 1996 in order to combat the growing revenue disparity among major league teams. The current program has not changed since it was simplified and improved during the 2002 CBA negotiations, but it has managed to give small market teams a monetary boost to help them remain competitive with large market teams.
Revenue is shared amongst the MLB teams in the following manner:
- Every team in the majors pays 31% of their net local revenue, which is then divided up and equally distributed to every team.
- A large portion of the MLB’s central fund (money acquired through things like national broadcasts) is set aside to be allocated to teams based on their revenues.
- As of the 2016 season, the fifteen teams in baseball’s largest markets were disqualified from receiving revenue sharing. The disqualified clubs received a refund for the amount that they would have received in revenue sharing, although teams that have exceeded the Luxury Tax threshold will not receive a full refund. (MLB.com)
Losing the potential revenue sharing could reduce the A’s “already frugal spending – and also trigger at least a partial ownership change.” The team has finished last in the American League West in consecutive years and fans have grown weary of personnel changes.