SBD/July 16, 2013/Facilities

Mets, Yankees Both Seeing Declines In Ballpark-Related Revenue

Ticket revenues for the Mets and Yankees have declined in recent years
The Mets' ballpark-related revenue "dropped last season for the third straight year," to $121.5M, about half the $234.3M "the team had expected," according to a front-page piece by Baumbach & Marshall of NEWSDAY. Analysts expect that figure to "decline even more because 2013 ticket sales are 10,000 fewer per game than the team projected." A portion of the team's ballpark-related finances are "far from what the Mets anticipated before" the '09 opening of Citi Field. The Mets told prospective bondholders in '09 that they "expected to sell the majority of their game tickets for five years." Had that "come true, the Mets projected that annual revenue from a part of their ballpark revenue for such items as premium seat tickets, suites, concessions and parking would eclipse" $200M each year and reach more than $240M this year. Despite the Mets' "inability to meet projections -- and the downward trend of their finances -- the team's bonds are still attractive to investors." The most significant financial difference "between the Mets' forecast and actual revenue took place within Citi Field's most expensive seats." Revenue from these 15,000 seats is "included in the team's revenue stream to pay back its bonds." The Mets expected $123.5M in '09 from "retained seats revenue," which represents "10,635 premium seats, about a quarter of the stadium's capacity." But the "'retained seats revenue' never met 2009 projections and continues to drop." The team reported $99.3M in ticket revenue in '09, while in '12 it "received only" $43.9M, 67% shy of its '12 projection. With "smaller crowds than projected lately, companies have been less willing to advertise at Citi Field." Records show that "revenue from stadium advertising and signage has averaged" $46M per year since '09, about 25% "short of the team's annual average projection of" $62M. Concessions' revenue also has "dropped each year," from $15.2M in '09 to $11.4M last year, "well short of the Mets' annual projection of about" $21M (NEWSDAY, 7/16).

POSTSEASON HANGOVER? On Long Island, Jim Baumbach cites quarterly revenue statements as showing that the Yankees' "overall ticket and luxury suite revenue has declined" 11% since the new Yankee Stadium opened, dropping from $397M in '09 to $353M last year. Standard & Poor's analyst Jodi Hecht said that the decrease is "mostly because the Yankees have hosted fewer postseason games in recent seasons compared with" when they won the '09 World Series. The Yankees declined to comment. The information focuses "only on ticket and luxury suite sales." Hecht said that of the $397M in ticket and suite revenue in '09, $72M was "generated from the team's eight home playoff games." She added that in the three seasons since, the Yankees have "averaged an estimated" $57M in playoff ticket revenue from four home playoff games a year. In its "first fiscal quarter filing, the Yankees reported" $207M in ticket and suite revenue, down from $214M in Q1 last year. The Yankees "drew more than 4 million fans in each of their final four seasons at the old Yankee Stadium, but averaged only" $198.4M in annual ticket and suite revenue." Financial statements for the Yankees bonds show that in the first four seasons at the new stadium, the team "averaged $378 million in ticket and suite revenue, bolstered by postseason runs" (NEWSDAY, 7/16).

BUILD ME UP: In a special to the GLOBE & MAIL, Joe Lapointe writes Citi Field and Yankee Stadium are "part of a sports-facilities gold rush in the New York area that has sharpened competition for events and given customers more and fancier choices for a sports experience." By '15, "all 10 local pro teams will play in modern, amenity-filled venues that were either built new or refurbished in the last decade." Yankees President Randy Levine said, "We’re not here to please television commentators and what they think the stadium looks like. We’re here to please our customers and fans. And all of them are very happy with those seats and they are basically sold" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/16).
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