Let's Guess at DC United's Budget Outlays
Perhaps this is a game that's fun only to me, but let's take a guess at what United is actually spending in a given year. We know from the article that Oscar linked yesterday that rent at RFK is $18K a game. Oscar hypothesizes that the $10M loss MacFarlane claims is a loss in opportunity cost (i.e., he's not making the $10M he could if he had a new stadium). Let's see if we can figure out a way that a $10M loss, if United were operated as its own team regardless of revenue sharing, could be explained in any other terms. In short, we stipulate to no revenues whatsoever, let's see how much we can run up in costs.
We start with salaries. Assume that in 2008 United ponies up salaries up to the Salary cap. That's $2.25M, but it likely doesn't include the cost of benefits. So we'll add 20% to salary costs to cover benefits and the like. We also have to assume some overhead costs for the players, including their lockers, meals at games, travel costs, uniforms, etc... Let's make that roughly 40% of the modified salary number. And we'll have to include stadium costs in addition to rent, such as security, I imagine DC pays for the lights at game time, so that's some more cash, plus they rent the auxiliary fields... And we'll need the Front Office salaries, as well as their equipment and office space rent... And the various fees to contractors for legal services, medical services, field management, etc...
Anyways, for your benefit, the spreadsheet below is what I've developed, and as a general rule it seems about right. I figure I may have slightly underestimated the cost of just doing business in DC, but it at least seems like a decent grounds-up estimation of DC United's spending:
Now, this has no accounting for revenues of any sort. So unless United is pulling in less than $1M a year (unlikely, given not just ticket sales but also corporate sponsorships and the like) then the $10M number seems like it almost has to be an opportunity cost number, and not an actual number. That seem right to everyone? Can we make this perhaps a bit more accurate? C'mon, I know we can.