SBD/March 25, 2011/Franchises

Mets Reportedly Lost Nearly $50M In '10, Could Lose As Much Or More This Season

Mets reportedly lost nearly $50M in their second season at Citi Field
The Mets "have lost millions of dollars in recent years, including nearly $50 million in 2010," according to sources cited by Schmidt & Sandomir in a front-page piece for the N.Y. TIMES. The team's losses are "projected to hit another $50 million or more this season based on factors including advance ticket sales." The club's "falloff in revenue was the largest year-to-year decline for any major league team in recent years." The Mets in '09, their first year at Citi Field, "took in revenue of more than $350 million," yet sources said that they still lost "close to" $10M. The team "struggled again in the field in 2010, ending the honeymoon for the new ballpark, and attendance figures fell precipitously, with almost 600,000 fewer fans showing up." A source said that as a result, "overall revenue slid by more than $60 million, and net losses, after interest, totaled roughly $50 million." Earlier this week, Forbes dropped its estimate of the team's value 13% to $747M. Furthermore, sales of full-season equivalents are "projected to top out at 10,000 this year, less than half the total sold just two years ago," and "without any major player signings after last season's 79-83 record, there might not be much for fans to root for." However, the Mets said that ticket sales for this season are "up over the same time last year" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/25).

DEFINING DEBT: In N.Y., Josh Kosman reports MLB is "working to cut how much debt its teams can carry." Sources said that the move, "aimed at avoiding a Mets-like cash squeeze or a Texas Rangers bankruptcy-type scenario, will be centered on widening the definition of team debt." The new debt rule "would be part of MLB's collective bargaining agreement talks with the players' union -- talks that have just begun." Teams currently are "supposed to adhere to a 60:40 ratio of assets to liabilities, adopted in 1975" (N.Y. POST, 3/25).
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