2022 World Series tape business story: How the Astros and Phillies compare

The World Series, now mostly in November rather than October, starts Friday night with the Houston Astros’ Philadelphia Phillies.

While many fans will scour lineups, study dizzying statistics and critique every management decision, some fans are also interested in the dollars and figures surrounding the business side of the game.

So for those interested in more than just dingers and sliders, here’s a viewing guide for comparing teams as businesses on and off the pitch and measuring their financial and social media impact. You can use this data to compare clubs outside the usual metrics of wins, points, wars, etc., or just jot down interesting background information.

It’s important to note that the team financial numbers below, especially the Forbes-calculated earnings and revenue figures (EBITDA), are from the 2021 season, as estimates for the current season won’t be available until next year. The teams themselves do not disclose their financial status.

On the broadcast side, the Astros-Phillies series was signed by Fox as part of the network’s $5.1 billion broadcast rights deal with Major League Baseball through 2028. Fox has aired fall classics exclusively since 2000.

Last year’s six-game World Series was watched by an average of 12.02 million viewers on TV and streaming, according to Fox Sports. On Fox alone, the series averaged 11.75 million viewers. That makes it the second-lowest series TV viewership on record, following the 2020 pandemic-reduced championship viewership (the Dodgers averaged 9.78 million).

The first game airs on Friday at 8:03 pm. Closely…

astronaut Phillies


1962 (as Houston Colts .45s)

1883 (as Philadelphia Quaker)

2022 record



twitter followers

1.7 million

1.9 million

Instagram followers

1.3 million


facebook followers

1.53 million

1.59 million

TikTok followers



local TV station

AT&T Sportsnet Southwest

NBC Sports Philadelphia

Nielsen market size

No. 8 (2.56 million TV households)

No. 4 (2.99 million TV households)

The collection is a comparison of baseball teams, one born in the Gilded Age and one born in the Space Age. On May 1, 1883, when the Phillies (then called the Quakers) first played at a former horse market called Leisure Park, the White House was occupied by President Chester A. Edison got the first electric street light there, Mark Twain was a year away from publishing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the U.S. had a population of only 50 million.

The Colt .45s weren’t called the Astros until 1965 to reflect Houston’s pivotal role in the space program and the team’s entry into the Astrodome, playing their first game on April 10, 1962 – two months later, Astronaut John Glenn embarks on America’s first orbital spaceflight. In the country of about 182 million people, gasoline costs 28 cents a gallon. Oh, and the world almost suffered a nuclear catastrophe with Soviet missiles in October 1962, which was called the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Houston has played in four of the past six World Series and won in 2017 (features exposed cheating scandal) sports 2019), while Philly’s last of seven appearances came in 2009, with a victory in 2008.

astronaut Phillies

top management

Marcel Braithwaite

Dave Dobrowski

General manager

james click

Sam Fuld


Jim Crane

John Middleton (Principal)


$1.4 billion

$3.4 billion

Pay for the team

$615 million (2011)

$18 million (1994)*

The Astros’ controlling owner, Jim Crane, 68, is a billionaire thanks to getting into logistics in the 1980s and then selling the company to build his fortune. He is Chairman of Crane Worldwide Logistics and Chief Executive Officer of Crane Capital Group. His portfolio also includes restaurants and wineries.

Crane doesn’t quite own the team. He reportedly owns a 40 percent controlling stake in the Astros as part of an investment consortium that reportedly paid $615 million in 2011.

Philadelphia’s ownership structure is also a consortium led by 67-year-old billionaire John Middleton, heir to the family’s tobacco fortune that began in the 19th century. He eventually sold the company to Altria, the successor to Philip Morris. The company was acquired in 2007 for nearly $3 billion. He first bought a stake in the Phillies in the 1990s, increasing his stake to nearly 50% over the years, becoming the controlling shareholder. According to the team, the Montgomery and Buck families and Pat Gillick have ownership stakes.

If Philly wins everything, it will mean front office owner Dave Dombrowski will lead four teams (Marlins, Tigers, Red Sox, Phillies) to the World Series and Will win with three of those teams. Sorry, Detroit.

astronaut Phillies

team value

$1.98 billion

$2.3 billion

2021 revenue

$388 million

$323 million

2021 Operating Income

$29 million

($17 million)

gross salary

$192.9 million

$255.1 million

max contract

Jose Artuf ($7/163.5 million)

Bryce Harper ($1.3/$330 million)

While baseball continues to grapple with an aging fan base and a continued decline in national television consumption, MLB owners won’t be showing up on street corners any time soon with cardboard signs demanding changes.

Major League Baseball teams continue to gain value thanks to huge media rights, sponsorships and other commercial deals. In Forbes’ annual MLB club valuations, the Phillies are eighth and the Astros 13th. Winning the World Series certainly won’t hurt those values, especially if teams choose to increase tickets, suites, parking, merchandise, marketing and other commercial transactions and revenue streams.

As they say, the rich get richer.

In 2020, when the MLB season was curtailed to a 60-game schedule per club due to the pandemic, many teams were forced to borrow money to stay afloat and pay salaries. It’s unclear if the Phillies and Astros took on the debt at the time, and if so, how much they had retired. Some teams have borrowed as much as $100 million.

Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million free-agent contract with Philadelphia before the 2019 season, and after seven All-Star appearances and two NL MVP awards, he will finally be 30 Participated in the World Series for the first time.

astronaut Phillies


dusty baker

Rob Thomson


Minute Maid Park

Citizens Bank Park






year 2004

Course fee

$250 million

$458 million

Total attendance in 2022

2,688,998 (No. 6)

2,276,736 (16th)

Attendance per game in 2022



Fan Cost Index

$354.72 (third highest)

$269.16 (10th highest)




Overall score compared to opponents

283-297 (.487)

297-283 (.512)

Overall profit and loss

4,831-4,820 (.5006)

10,022-11,187 (.472)

Playoff appearances







1 (2017)

2 (1980, 2008)

Another source of revenue for the club is stadium naming rights, a cash flow enjoyed by both World Series teams.

For the Astros, the Orange Juice brand and Coca-Cola-owned Minute Maid will pay the team $178 million between 2002 and 2028-29. Formerly known as Enron Field, it signed a 30-year, $100 million deal with the now-defunct energy trading company that collapsed in 2002. The Astros reportedly paid $2.1 million to exit the deal.

The construction of Minute Maid Park was financed by a local hotel and rental car tax of $180 million, as well as $70 million from the Astros ownership at the time. The venue is owned by the Harris County Houston Sports Authority.

For the Phillies, it’s a 25-year, $95 million deal with Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial Group that expires in 2028. The city-owned Citizens Bank Park is funded by $229 million in public funding from the city and state, and the rest is privately funded.

The Annual Fan Cost Index is an estimate of the cost of participating in the regular season for a family or group of four. For Astros fans, that’s about $355, while Phillies fans pay nearly $270 — a difference of about $85.

Houston head coach Dusty Baker is still seeking his first World Series title as captain, which he won in 1981 as an outfielder when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Yankees. He led the San Francisco Giants to a National League title in 2002 and an American League title with the Astros in 2021-22.

Overall, the 2022 World Series is a matchup between the Houston club, which was successful in the mid-1990s and preceded an ugly era before the 2005 World Series (including a 111-loss loss in 2013) and The successful rebuild that followed, and the fact that Philly struggled through much of the 1990s and 2000s, then excelled under Charlie Manuel from 2005-13, followed by the decade that followed. Mediocrity sets the stage for this year’s game.

Houston fixed some holes in its roster after a World Series loss to Atlanta and never dropped out of the division lead after May 11.

It’s been a tougher road for the Phillies, who returned to manager Joe Girardi on May 31 with a 21-29, 12.5-game record. He was fired on June 3 and replaced by Rob Thomson (who got his full-time job on October 10). They saved the season to earn a wild-card berth (despite losing 13 of their last 19), Then beat the Cardinals, Warriors and Padres in the playoffs to reach the World Series.

Note: Social media data as of the afternoon of October 10. 26.

Sources: Forbes, balloon-reference.com, Team Marketing Reports, ESPN, Spotrac, Nielsen, Ballparks.com, Philadelphia Inquirer, Census.gov, Sports Research.

Related Reading

MLB Insider’s Breakdown of the World Series, Predictions: Astros or Phillies – Who Has the Edge?
Sam Bloom: Dusty Baker looks forward to if the Astros make it to the World Series again

(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

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