For the past few months, SMBA ’17 has been taking Finance and Accounting with Professor Ryan and Dr. Deboskey. They have studied everything from bonds and cash flows to balance sheets and income statements. This week the cohort had the chance to hear from a financial and accounting professional within the sports industry. The newly awarded San Diego CFO of the year, Ronda Sedillo, the Senior VP and CFO of the Padres, spoke to the class about her journey to the Padres and the details of the Padres’ financial structure.
San Diego is a small market within Major League Baseball, and the organization consists of many smaller companies that all funnel back into the Padres financial offices. Ronda runs them all- including two companies in the Dominican Republic. She broke down the intricacies of juggling multiple locations and revenue streams as well as debt management and logistics for each of the different entities. Ronda spoke of the cash flows involved in running different events at Petco Park – concerts, monster trucks and the work that goes into building the infrastructure up, then taking it down again once temporary events leave Petco Park.
Since stadium funding has been a hot topic recently, especially in San Diego, Ronda focused greatly on the funding of Petco Park. She explained how the ballpark is 70% owned by the city and 30% owned by the club. Petco Park first opened for the 2004 baseball season after bypassing 17 lawsuits aimed at stopping the project. Together the ballpark and parkade required $156 million in financing. The Padres debt service is of the highest in baseball with an 8.55% interest on a bond that matures in 2025.
Ronda is extremely happy to be in her position and is a huge baseball fan and San Diego native. She is a good friend to the program and has been in to speak before. She has also graciously hosted previous Sports MBA classes for a special night at the stadium where they enjoy a night of mingling with top executives while taking in a game. Ronda makes accounting interesting and fun! She has a great attitude, is extremely positive and encouraging and even stayed after her presentation to speak with students one on one.
It was also an especially special afternoon as SMBA’17 got to celebrate Rhonda’s latest accomplishment of CFO of the Year – San Diego. After her presentation, we enjoyed a Padres’ blue cake in her honour.
Written by Breanne Glaviano, Amy Wesson and Mandy Chatigny.