Photo: ajagendorf25 via Flickr
A report in today’s New York Times claims that the New York Mets posted a net loss of $50 million in 2010 — a number that could go even higher in 2011.According to a source that was briefed on the team’s finances, overall revenue fell by more than $60 million last season.
Season ticket sales for this year are expected to be less than half of what they were two years ago when the team moved into the brand-new Citi Field, as the recession and poor performance on the field have gutted attendance.
The source was unidentified, but is presumably related to one of the parties interested in buying a share of the team. Owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have been looking for a new minority partner to shore up the team’s finances.
That’s proving difficult, however, given the current owners’ demands. The Wilpons are offering a 25% stake in the club, but will not give up a say in team operations and will also not offer any portion of SNY, the team’s cable network, which is far more lucrative than the team itself right now. (And actually contributes most of the Mets’ media revenue.)
In fact, CNBC’s Kate Kelly reported earlier this week that at least one potential buyer walked away after getting a look at the team’s books. Others are still interested, but may drive a hard bargain. The longer the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the Bernie Madoff trustee goes on, the more difficult it will be for Wilpon and Katz to hold out.
Forbes’ also reported that the team’s overall value fell 13% in the last year, though they’re still among the Top 5 most valuable Major League Baseball teams.
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