Selig says MLB revenue could top $9 billion

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2013, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in Cooperstown, N.Y. People familiar with the negotiations tell The Associated Press that baseball players and management hope to reach a new drug agreement this week that would increase initial penalties for muscle-building steroids and decrease suspensions for some positive tests caused by unintentional use. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2013, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in Cooperstown, N.Y. People familiar with the negotiations tell The Associated Press that baseball players and management hope to reach a new drug agreement this week that would increase initial penalties for muscle-building steroids and decrease suspensions for some positive tests caused by unintentional use. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s revenue could top $9 billion this year.

Major League Baseball reached $8 billion for the first time in 2013, up from less than $2 billion when Selig became acting commissioner in 1992.

“I have hopes for $9 billion. I don’t know that we’ll make that this year, but we may,” Selig said Friday during an ESPN conference call ahead of the U.S. opener Sunday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego. “How high can it go? If this sport continues to make the progress at all levels, international and everything else … it can go a lot higher.”

Selig also was pleased with the new drug agreement with the players’ association announced later Friday. The deal increased penalties for first and second drug-testing violations and allows an arbitrator to reduce penalties for some banned drugs if a player can prove a positive test was caused by unintentional use.

“It was kind of a lonely battle for a while,” Selig said. “I’m really pleased, and the players’ response has been terrific. We’ve come to a point that nobody could have dreamed about. I’m not telling you things are perfect, but boy, they’ve come a long, long way.”

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