I don't believe the payments they get for being part of most people's basic cable package really vary substantially from year to year based on ratings. The lowest paid attendance they draw with all the corporate season ticket holders would seem to be around 2 million.
The Wilpons have learned they can make out very respectably with a bad team if they keep payroll low enough.
Think about it. With Citi Field's low capacity the most they could reasonably expect to draw would be about a million more fans than they do now. By keeping payroll around $80 million below big market standards they largely make up for this. Plus spending wouldn't absolutely guarantee winning or better attendance. They obviously don't think the risk is worth the reward.
A million square foot mall and adjacent shopping strip is another story. They'll need to get people to actually come to the ballpark for it to go as well as they hope. To do this I predict they'll spend.
Last edited by Coupon; 12-06-2012 at 08:32 PM.
The notion that they are making money, and yet had to consider selling a minority share to David Einhorn even after borrowing $25 million from MLB, is quite a stretch. It is clear that their finances and cash flow was suffering.
They were hard up.
The Mets and SNY as stand alone entities are another story. They generate excellent cash flow and their value keeps soaring.
Oddly, the monies they raised through the sale of minority shares reportedly went to pay down operating costs and debt due to negative cash flow.
All information in this case falls under the domain of "reportedly" unless you have direct access to financial statements.
Any questions I might have had about their financial health were resolved by the Madoff settlement and by the explosion in value of the Mets and SNY in the wake of the Dodgers recent sale.
Expert: Mets may be worth $1.5B
March, 28, 2012
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
Fred Wilpon served on a committee that screened prospective Los Angeles Dodgers owners. So Wilpon said he could not discuss the yet-to-be-officially completed $2 billion sale of the West Coast ballclub.
Still, when asked Wednesday afternoon about the impact of the Dodgers’ impending sale on the value of Major League Baseball franchises including his Mets, Wilpon said: “I’m smiling, aren’t I?”
A week after Forbes valued the Mets at $719 million, sports business consultant Marc Ganis estimated Wednesday that the organization actually is worth more than double that amount in light of the Dodgers’ price tag...
“If you had the Mets in the same situation as the Dodgers, in a bankruptcy situation where Wilpon would be able to sell the team to the highest bidder without too much interference from Major League Baseball, the Mets would have gone for the same number if not higher than the Dodgers.
“If the Mets had the same (bankruptcy) thing, had they rejected the SNY contract and there could have been a fresh broadcasting deal, I suspect the Mets would have went for more than the $2 billion the Dodgers went for. If they kept the SNY deal, probably $1.5 billion or so would be the value.”
I think the current austerity budget is a sham. The Mets could spend if they wanted. The Wilpons just borrowed another 9 figure sum against SNY. Why not? Its value keeps soaring.
They're currently putting the savings from slashing payroll in their pocket.
But you believe the Wilpons when they cry poverty. Which implies you don't think payroll will be going up anytime soon. How could it with all those empty seats? Which would make Jeff Wilpon a liar. Right?
I think they are recovering, and that payroll will recover incrementally - modestly - over time. Ultimately, winning and payroll go hand in hand. If Alderson fails to put a competitive product on the field, payroll will not rise dramatically.
I think they value winning, but not at any price. They are more cautious than many fans would like, but not to a degree that makes it impossible to win. I believe they will become less cautious as winning % increases and closer to being a legitimate threat.
I don't believe your conclusions are reasonable.
Last edited by Dugmet; 12-07-2012 at 05:28 AM.
And what, then, do you think they value more than winning?
I believe they will become less cautious as the grand opening of the mall approaches.
By opening day 2014 we will know which one of you are correct.
I'm skeptical, but hopeful
Also, three years is a while. Other factors could come into play and things could change. Still, I'm pretty sure, as of now, the Wilpons don't feel it's worth spending much on the team until launch of the mall approaches.
Then they'll spend enough for "meaningful baseball in September".