According to a fascinating article in the New York Times, the financial woes for the New York Mets run deeper than we thought.
Everyone is aware that the Mets’ owners are being sued for $1 billion because of the fallout of the Bernie Madoff scheme. Rumor has it that Fred Wilpon is trying to sell a portion of the team to a person who will ultimately become a minority owner and bail the Mets out of their predicament.
Despite these rumors, Wilpon has stated that he has no intention of selling any part of the team and that the Mets are financially sound. He insists that the Bernie Madoff incident is not affecting the way his organization conducts business and spends money.
In 2009, the Mets contributed $40 million into MLB’s revenue sharing pool, a number that decreased by 40% in 2010. Even in the inaugural season of their new ballpark, Citi Field, the Mets still lost $10 million.
In a recent poll, New York Mets fans were deemed as the 23rd most loyal fans in baseball, tied with the Washington Nationals. A statistic that will support this case is the fact that 600,000 less fans attended games in 2010 when compared to 2009. It is said that the Mets lost $60 million in 2010, the biggest drop off since the Florida Marlins in 1998.
The New York Mets have not made the playoffs since 2006 and it makes sense that less people would attend games. A report projects the Mets to lose an additional $50 million this year.
After a little research, I found out what Forbes listed as the value of New York teams in the four major sports. Here is a list :
1. New York Yankees – $1.7 billion (ranked 1st in MLB)
2. New York Giants – $1.2 billion (ranked 4th in NFL)
3. New York Jets – $1.1 billion (ranked 6th in NFL)
4. New York Mets – $747 million (ranked 5th in MLB)
5. New York Knicks – $655 million (ranked 1st in NBA)
6. New York Rangers – $461 million (ranked 2nd in NHL)
7. New Jersey Nets – $295 million (ranked 26th in NBA)
8. New Jersey Devils – $218 million (ranked 11th in NHL)
9. New York Islanders – $151 million (ranked 26th in NHL)
As you can see, the Mets are currently ranked 4th among the sports teams in the New York area. They could very well fall behind the Knicks in the coming years, especially with the Knicks’ future being bright and a transformation of Madison Square Garden taking place.
If the Mets continue to lose money then owners would be forced to sell the team because they would be strapped for cash and would not be able to make any free agent acquisitions. The Mets seem to be in a tough situation right now, but if they start to produce on the field then they should start bringing in money again.
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