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Forbes: Cards value at all-time high, Pujols will sign with Cubs

According to a report by Forbes, the Cardinals are worth $518 million, an all-time high value for the club which is seven percent higher than the team's worth in 2010.

But, while the magazine lists the Redbirds as raking in $207 million in revenue with just shy of $20 million in operating expenses, $20 million in stadium debt service and $110 million in player expenses, it predicts that it won't re-sign superstar Albert Pujols when his contract runs out at the end of the upcoming season.

Forbes writes:

“The Cardinals could not come to terms with superstar Albert Pujols prior to the start of the 2011 season. One obstacle: $20 million in annual stadium debt payments the team is on the hook for. Look for the slugging first baseman, whose contract ends after this season, to go to the Cubs, who desperately need a superstar and have the money to make Pujols the highest-paid player in the game. St. Louis is the best baseball town in the league and in 2010 the Cardinals averaged a 9.5 rating on cable network Fox Sports Midwest, the highest in baseball. In February, the Cardinals and Skyview Networks expanded their contract beginning with the 2011 season to include Skyview's satellite distribution. It gives the Cardinals the resources to open their already nine-state radio network to more stations and the ability to run different versions of advertising messages simultaneously.”

It's pretty hard feeling sorry for the Cardinals ownership's financial position. In addition to what seems to be a pretty healthy bottom line, the Bill DeWitt Jr. led group of owners bought the team, old Busch Stadium and the two stadium parking garages for $150 million in 1995. It then sold the parking garages for $90 million making the most storied team in the National League a steal at $60 million invested.
The Birds ownership insists of keeping a healthy profit margin IN ADDITION TO THE FACT that their investment has appreciated almost nine fold from the time they purchased the team 15 years ago.
It makes it pretty easy to imagine that owners could give Pujols a stake in the team in the place of part of the cash in his next deal. They would basically be giving him house money because even if they gave him a 10 percent stake in the club, they would still be about $400 million in the black compared to their original investment.
True, it's sickening how player contracts have spiraled out of control. But the owners aren't exactly running headlong for the poorhouse, either. The only ones who lose out are the fans.