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Building equity with the boys of summer
A look at America’s pastime from inside the front office.
“You live and die with the wins and losses,” says Kip Elliott, Minnesota Twins executive vice president of business administration and CFO. A long-time fan of the team and executive officer, Elliott sums up his insider’s perspective: “Emotionally you get wrapped up in it. It does affect the mood, and it also affects the profitability of the operations.”
While the duties of a CFO in Major League Baseball (MLB) may be similar to those of CFOs everywhere, the air of an MLB front office is electric. “You get hooked into it, but that’s what makes it enjoyable,” Elliott says. There may well be magic in directing the finances of a team whose ups and downs—and investments—can impact the collective mood and economy of its home region.
A mood lift certainly can be found in the Twins’ beautiful Target Field ballpark, which debuted in 2010. One of the minds behind the nearly $545 million project, Elliott admits it was an emotional experience when the ballpark opened. “A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it,” he says, “You can look back twenty years from that moment and say, ‘Hey, I was part of the stadium.’”
Crediting his career in public accounting as essential training for a role in baseball’s front office, Elliott contends it’s important for the chief financial executive to wear many hats—including a Twins rally cap at pivotal moments. He is proud of his work in the Major Leagues, saying: “It’s something that you will, without question, take to your grave… and that’s pretty cool.”