WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Forbes Magazine has named the Sacramento River Cats as the most valuable team in minor league baseball.
First it was their donut burger making it in Sports Illustrated. Then came their tri-tip sandwich, selected Men’s Health magazine’s favorite ballpark bite.
Now Forbes, the national business magazine, values the River Cats at $32 million, worth more than any other team in the minor leagues.
“We are honored they call us that,” team spokesman Zak Basch said. “We say it’s a testament to our fans. We always say we have the best minor league fans, and it shows.”
Their fans can fill the stands at Raley Field. More than 9.1 million have showed up since 2000, taking them to the top when it comes to total attendance in the minors.
Compared to their major league counterpart, it looks like the parent club Oakland S’s strike out. Forbes lists the A’s as the least valuable team in the majors.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the River Cats beat the A’s in like a four-game series,” fan Aaron Frank said.
The A’s attendance also comes in second to last in the American League. The River Cats, on the other hand, are the third highest in the Pacific Coast League with 69 sellouts on record.
“It’s cheap, it’s fun, it’s easy,” fan Roger Huddle said.
For the same cost of taking your family to the movies, you can take your kids to a Triple-A baseball game. You’ll be out about $60 bucks for a family of four, including tickets, drinks and food.
Does the team’s success have anything to do with the past seasons’ uncertainty in the Sacramento Kings?
“They want a team to cling to and if the kings aren’t going to be there, they’re going to be there for the River Cats,” fan Christina Marseles.
For some fans, it’s not what they do on the field as much as it is their fundraisers, sleepover parties, mommy-daughter days and overall community outreach — even helping fund Independence Field for special needs athletes.