SBD/September 7, 2012/Franchises

Sources: Mets Cut Season Loss Down To $23M; Payroll Not Expected To Change In '13

Mets owners cut their '12 payroll by $50M last season, down to about $100M
The Mets are "expected to cut their 2012 season loss by two-thirds from last year, to roughly $23 million -- in line with expectations but not enough to support anything but a modest uptick in payroll in 2013," according to sources cited by Josh Kosman of the N.Y. POST. A source said that the loss "could continue to shrink next year." The source "estimated the red ink may drop" to about $15M. The source said that even with the losses "at that level, cash-strapped owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz appear to have just over $21 million in free cash -- from their profitable SportsNet New York cable operation -- to sink into the club." Kosman noted that would "suggest, unless SNY profits soar, that the expected $8 million decline in 2013’s projected loss would give the Mets just that much more money to add to payroll." The Mets "cut their 2012 payroll" by $50M from last season to about $100M (N.Y. POST, 9/6). ESPN N.Y.'s Adam Rubin noted the Mets received a $240M "equity infusion earlier this year from new minority investors, including political commentator Bill Maher." But that money "was earmarked to pay off debt, including an emergency" $40M loan from Bank of America and $25M loan from MLB. The Mets "have struggled at the gate this season." They are "averaging 29,023 fans per game, 17th in the majors and a decrease of 1,085 per game from 2011." September attendance at Citi Field "is projected to be dismal with the Mets out of the race, so the size of the decrease is expected to grow by season's end." As an indication "of their desperation to get fans in the seats, the Mets are offering free admission to up to three children for every adult ticket purchased during the final month of this season" (ESPNNY.com, 9/6).

HONOR & REMEMBRANCE: On Long Island, Marc Carig notes to mark Tuesday's 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Mets "will continue their long-standing tradition of wearing first responder caps, though only during batting practice and the national anthem." The Mets will "don their regular uniform caps for their game" against the Nationals. The "compromise comes a year after MLB, citing its uniform guidelines, shut down the team's plans to wear first responder caps to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11." This year, the Mets "asked to wear the first responder caps only before the game, a request granted by MLB" (NEWSDAY, 9/7).
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