The Mets sent the following letter to season ticket holders:
“Everyone at the Mets – our Ownership, GM Omar Minaya, Manager Jerry Manuel, the coaches, players, front office and staff – shares your disappointment with the 2009 season. You soon will hear from Ownership and Omar about how we plan to improve the ball club through a combination of player signings, trades, enhanced player development and continued commitment to one of the highest player payrolls in MLB.
“We are currently finalizing our ticket pricing for 2010. Season Ticket prices will be reduced by an average of more than 10 percent, with several seating areas being adjusted by more than 20 percent. Every Season Ticket Holder invoice for 2010 will be less than 2009.”
Well, I would hope so. There was a lot of promise for this season, from the expectations on the field to Citi Field itself, that went unrealized. It was a terribly disappointing season and it wouldn’t be unrealistic to think this might not be a one-year thing, that the Mets are on a downward spiral they won’t be able to pull themselves out of.
What the Mets are doing is thank the public for its support. This is a good gesture, one which should dispel some of the talk of the team being in financial distress because of the Ponzi scam. Let’s face it, if the Mets were really hurting financially they wouldn’t cut prices.
Yesterday on the blog we talked about a Reuters story which quoted Erin Arvedlund, author of “Too Good to Be True,” of saying the Wilpon family lost $700 million in the Madoff scam and would be forced to sell the team by early of 2010.
Fred Wilpon told the New York Times, “I’m fine, my family’s fine, my business family’s fine.”
WILPON: Says Mets not for sale.
Wilpon also said the family has an emotional attachment to the Mets and would not sell the team. Wilpon said the team’s revenue from its share of the MLB television deal, luxury suits, ticket sales, concessions, ad revenue at Citi Field and its share of SNY were not affected by the scam. He said the Madoff losses were significantly less than $700 million, but did not specify.
Wilpon paid $135 million to buy out Nelson Doubleday’s share of the team in 2002, and the Mets, according to Forbes Magazine, are currently worth $912 million.
Major League Baseball monitors the finances of each team quarterly, and president Bob DuPuy said the team is under no financial distress.
A friend of mine from Maple Street Press sent me the 2009 Mets Annual. It’s a slick publication with great art and sound writing. They also publish a Yankees annual, plus several other MLB, NFL, NHL and college books.
Martin Silver, owner of Syosset-based Star Industries, wants to buy the Mets from the Wilpons, and after speaking to potential investors said he could put together a $700 million offer.
“As a life-long Mets fan and a season ticket holder for over 25 years, I would not like to see the Mets organization fall into the wrong hands,” Silver write in a letter to Wilpons reported The Daily News.
Forbes magazine has put the value of the Mets at $824 million.
Although the Wilpons took a reported $300-million hit in the Ponzi scandal, Fred Wilpon told MLB the losses won’t affect the team’s operations.
The World Series will resume tomorrow at the earliest. Thanks for not pushing us through another bad night of rain, wind and cold. Waiting an extra day is the right thing to do. Trying to force it tonight would have been a mess.
The announcement is play will resume at 8:37 p.m., which is truth in advertising. Actually, this would have been a perfect opportunity to try an earlier resumption time, but you can’t have everything.
MLB also gets kudos for an admission of a blown call on Evan Longoria’s tag of Jimmy Rollins. I’ve ripped MLB a number of times on a decline in the quality of umpiring, but an admission of bad calls is a step in the right direction.