03.25.11

NYT’s Schmidt & Sandomir : The Mets Are Leading The League (In Hemorrhaging Cash)

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 3:00 am by

Hours after Mets GM Sandy Alderson assured an audience of bloggers, “if we’re in the hunt the money will be there to add a player,” said claim to a slight hit from a New York Times report in which Michael D. Schmidt and Richard Sandomir cite losses of $50 million in 2010, with more misery to come.

The team’s losses — projected to hit another $50 million or more this season based on factors including advance ticket sales — come with a range of implications for its owners, who are trying to sell a portion of the club, and for major league teams that rely on the Mets to share revenue with them.

Two years ago, the Mets contributed more than $40 million to baseball’s revenue-sharing pool — a system meant to create a more level playing field for small- and large-market teams. But in 2010, the Mets put in around 40 percent less.

The losses — the club’s falloff in revenue was the largest year-to-year decline for any major league team in recent years — are certainly jarring for a franchise operating in the nation’s most lucrative market. In 2009, the Mets, boasting one of the sport’s most expensive payrolls, opened the season in a new park, Citi Field, and the club took in revenue of more than $350 million. Still, it lost close to $10 million, according to the two people briefed on the matter.

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