But, seriously, how could anyone believe the denials that it wouldn’t?
NY Times: [Fred] Wilpon bought the Mets in 1980 in a partnership with Nelson Doubleday and became the team’s principal owner in 2002, when he bought Doubleday’s share of the team. The losses that Wilpon has sustained as a result of the Madoff fraud case could hamper his ability to pay back debt related to that buyout.
The losses could also hurt Wilpon’s ability to help the Mets weather the current economic downturn. Many sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, are bracing for lower revenue next season as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.
Perhaps most troubling is the possibility that losses incurred by Sterling Equities could put pressure on Wilpon to raise money by selling other assets. Because Sterling invested money directly with Madoff, Wilpon may have to come up with money to reimburse some of his own investors for losses. That may cause him to sell valuable assets, including a portion of his ownership in the Mets.
This year, Forbes magazine estimated the value of the Mets to be $824 million, making it the second-most valuable baseball franchise, behind only the Yankees.
But given the Mets’ not-so-hot record since Wilpon became the principal owner maybe it’s not such a bad thing?