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  1. #1
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    S&P Downgrades Citi Field Bonds to BB

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/1.../?ref=baseball

    With one glaring exception, the Mets appear to be in cost-cutting mode this winter. Yes, David Wright agreed to an eight-year, $138 million contract this month.

    But the Mets traded their ace, R.A. Dickey, over what amounted to a few million dollars, and unloaded Jason Bay and a host of other underperforming players. The Mets are the only team that had not signed a major league free agent this off-season.

    Sandy Alderson, the team’s general manager, has said the Mets are simply being prudent after years of signing high-priced flops. But he has also said the Mets do not have unlimited funds, something most fans have long suspected even after the team’s owners settled their legal standoff with the trustee representing the victims of the Bernard L. Madoff Ponzi scheme.

    Others have come to the same conclusion. On Dec. 21, Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating on the almost $700 million in bonds issued to finance Citi Field, and it said the outlook for them remains negative. The bonds are now rated BB, from BB+. That’s two notches below investment grade, junk bonds in the parlance of the debt market.

    Jodi Hecht, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s, cited “cash flow volatility,” noting that “a large portion” of the money pledged to pay off the bonds is “game-day revenue,” which includes sales of club-seat tickets, concessions and parking. How the Mets play will affect the prospects for this revenue, she said. Standard & Poor’s “may lower the rating if cash flows continue to decline due to a combination of poor team performance, slow economic recovery, overcapacity in the New York region,” she added.

    Attendance has fallen three straight seasons, and the Mets have finished in fourth place four consecutive years.

    Despite the dim prospects for the team in 2013, the Mets may get a boost in ticket sales if fans buy season-ticket packages as a way to secure tickets to the All-Star Game, which will be played at Citi Field in July.

    The downgrade by Standard & Poor’s is unlikely to affect the Mets much in the short-term unless they issue new debt. The team currently makes semi-annual bond payments of $22 million using revenue from sales of suites, club seats, concessions and other items.
    Go Grab My Belt

  2. #2
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    Still waiting for Selig to step in and clean this mess up

  3. #3
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    Embarrassing but doesn't mean much at this point. Solidified what we all knew.

  4. #4
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    It would have been a miracle if it stayed up.

    This won't come as a shock to the Wilpons, other investors, their financial advisers, or Alderson because this was expected to happen and the gameplan for the future was being crafted around it.

    Disclaimer: Not saying that this is a good thing; it's an awful, awful thing but not something that should take anyone by surprise - especially the people fiscally responsible.
    There are no men like me, only me.


  5. #5
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    Seriously tho WTF is Selig waiting for? Dudes just got downgraded by S&P what more evidence is needed?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveycrockett View Post
    Seriously tho WTF is Selig waiting for? Dudes just got downgraded by S&P what more evidence is needed?
    Evidence of what? The team will have a $90+ million payroll. That is well within MLB standards. There's nothing for him to act upon.
    John Maeda@johnmaeda

    Knowing the overall *shape* of an idea, argument, situation requires as many facts, models, opinions as you can take/make to see a whole.

  7. #7
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    Everyone, these S&P rating don't mean a thing.

    In 2008 right before all the major banks failed, S&P graded them excellent. So their ratings mean nothing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootleg42 View Post
    Everyone, these S&P rating don't mean a thing.

    In 2008 right before all the major banks failed, S&P graded them excellent. So their ratings mean nothing.
    Well I agree that both Moody's and S&P did an atrocious job of rating the bonds and CDOs containing subprime mortgages. That's very different from saying their ratings mean nothing.

    Their ratings, when negative, certainly affect the ability of an particular organization to borrow money. Whe the US had its rating dropped by S&P, it incurred billions more in debt just based on higher interest rate borrowing.

    This affects the Wilpons' ability to borrow more money against Citi Field. I don't know how that affects their long term finances with respect to managing the team, but it does have some financial impact.
    Go Grab My Belt

  9. #9
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    I'm pretty sure that Selig believes that this is the lowest that it will go for the Mets and Wilpons.
    There are no men like me, only me.


  10. #10
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    S&P Downgrades Citi Field Bonds to Bb

    The mets downgraded themselves to a small market team about three years ago.

  11. #11
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    They shouldn't be owning a major league baseball team or even a business for that matter. If only we could be blessed like the Dodgers after the McCourt issue, but I doubt we would be that lucky. Wilpons have to be one of the most dishonest owners in sports towards there fans

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsnQueens7 View Post
    They shouldn't be owning a major league baseball team or even a business for that matter. If only we could be blessed like the Dodgers after the McCourt issue, but I doubt we would be that lucky. Wilpons have to be one of the most dishonest owners in sports towards there fans
    I'm not defending the Wilpons , but who wants admit they're broke to the fanbase. All mets fans would riot if that happens.

  13. #13
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    It's all part of this physical cliff thingie.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jomota48 View Post
    It's all part of this physical cliff thingie.
    Yup, I blame Obama!!!

    He wants to raise them taxes to the rich, therefore not allowing the Wilpons to spend more money on the team!!!!!

  15. #15
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    Selig is a disgrace, baseball is nothing but a country club. No wonder the NFL has smashed baseball to pieces over the last 20 years or so.

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