SBD/March 31, 2014/MLB Season Preview

Mets, Yankees Saw Ballpark Revenue Drop In '13, Blame Subpar On-Field Showings

The Mets' ballpark-related revenue reported to regulators "dropped for the fourth straight year" in '13, down nearly 34% since Citi Field opened in '09, according to a financial statement cited by Jim Baumbach of NEWSDAY. Ballpark-related revenue -- which "includes premium-ticket sales, advertising, concessions, parking and luxury suites" -- for '13 was $119.2M, down from the $180.4M reported for '09. The Mets have "suffered through five straight years with a losing record, and attendance has declined in every season since the ballpark opened." Attendance in '13 was 2,135,657, compared to 3,154,262 in the inaugural season at Citi Field. The attendance drop "can be seen in the Mets' revenue from premium seats, which represent nearly a quarter of all seats in the stadium." That revenue fell almost 5% in '13 from '12. The team reported taking in $41.9M from the sale of 10,635 premium seats last season, a decrease from $44M in '12 and $99.3M in '09. The filing also "shows that revenue from concessions decreased" to $10.7M last year from $11.4M in '12. Parking revenue fell to $6.9M last season from $7.5M in '12. The Mets did "see a slight uptick in luxury box revenue," to $8.9M from $8.7M in '12. Not included in the financial report "are other revenue streams for the Mets, such as the remaining seats at Citi Field and its television rights deal with SportsNet NY." Also not included are "the team's major expenses such as the player payroll," which is expected to be around $89M this season compared with approximately $140M in '11. Experts have said that the Mets' "drops in premium-ticket sales and some other ballpark-related revenue may soon be a thing of the past." For example, the '13 figure for ballpark-related revenue, at $119.2M, "was down slightly" from $121.5M the year before (NEWSDAY, 3/30).

BOMBERS NOT BANKERS: NEWSDAY's Baumbach cited a Yankees financial report as showing that the team's luxury-box revenue declined nearly 21% last season from the year before, which the team "attributes to missing the playoffs for the first time in five years and injuries to star players." The Yankees reported $278.8M in ticket and luxury-box revenue for the '13 season, down from $352.9M the year before. The $278.8M "included postseason refunds or credits" of $21.2M. The '13 figure "represents the team's lowest single-season ticket revenue since it moved into the new Yankee Stadium" in '09, when ticket revenue totaled $397M. The team's ticket and luxury-box revenue declined 29.8% from '09-13. Yankees COO Lonn Trost said, "This was not the typical Yankee team, and the injuries really had a change in the public's awareness and the buying of tickets during the year. We were obviously not surprised the ticket purchases were down" (NEWSDAY, 3/30).
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