Perhaps the only thing that's conservative about the Oakland A's these days is Roy Eisenhardt's 1982 financial forecast. Some expenses have been exaggerated and some revenue estimates understated, admits Eisenhardt, "just to be on the safe side."
Eisenhardt has budgeted total paid home attendance for the club at 1.8 million. With an average unit of sale of $4.30, projected gross ticket revenues for the season are $7.74 million. For each home game of the season, the A's have to give 20% of the gate to the visiting club, but for budgeting purposes Eisenhardt is assuming the A's will get that 20% back when they're on the road.
Eisenhardt expects local and national media to generate an additional $3.15 million, although he concedes that the $1.2 million in anticipated national television revenues assumes that the team will repeat its on-the-field performance of last year and make it into the play-offs.
Novelty and program/publication sales are expected to generate slightly more than $1.5 million, and the club's share of Coliseum concessions and parking should bring in an additional $1.5 million.
Estimated gross revenues for 1982: slightly less than $14 million.
The team's largest single expense is major-league player salaries, which will run approximately $6.3 million, or slightly more than 35% of expenses for the entire franchise. The $6.3-million figure for 1982 places the A's payroll in the top third of both leagues; just three years ago Charlie Finley's $1.3-million payroll was the lowest in the sport.
Other payroll costs, including front-office employees and major-league coaches, comes to $800,000. Travel and hotel bills for the club's 81 away games in '82 are expected to total another $720,000, and maintenance of the A's ticket operations will cost approximately $1 million. The marketing budget for the season is enough to make any marketing director green with envy: $2.9 million, or slightly more than 20% of sales. Most major-league franchises are extremely secretive about their finances, but Eisenhardt says he believes his club spends more on marketing than any other team in baseball.
The A's will spend $1.2 million on scounting operations in '82. Although some clubs spend more -- Dodgers' scouting operations cost the club an estimated $3 million last year -- Oakland's scounting operation is substantially more comprehensive, and costly, than that of most major-league clubs. Eisenhardt expects minor-league salaries and operations to cost the franchise another $3 million this year, with Coliseum rent running an additional $1.35 million. Eisenhardt has also budgeted $250,000 for miscellaneous expenses, and $232,200 for the A's American League fee, which is calculated at 3% of the gate.
Estimated total operating costs: $17,572,200.
Tickets $ 7,740,000
Local television 1,200,000
Local radio 750,000
National television 1,200,000
Novelty sales 750,000
Program and 800,000
Coliseum concessions 1,500,000
Player salaries $ 6,300,000
Ticket operations 1,000,000
Coliseum rent 1,350,000
American League 232,200