Saul Katz, who controls the New York Mets ownership with the Wilpon family, may be looking to sell his share of the team, according to a published report.
The issue is actually pretty simple, according to the report: Katz is tired of spending millions to prop up the team. From The New York Times:
The people in baseball who described the situation spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by Katz to speak publicly about his finances and feared possible retribution from the baseball commissioner’s office, which discourages officials from discussing internal matters.
The Mets declined to make Katz available for an interview. David Newman, a spokesman for the Mets, said Monday that there was “no truth” to the notion that Katz wants to sell his portion of the team. Katz, Newman said, is “definitely not selling.”
That the Mets are having financial issues is not a big secret, according to public filings:
There are no public profit-and-loss statements or other documents that definitively show the complete state of the club’s finances or how its ownership is structured. But reports linked to the bonds issued to finance Citi Field provide a partial snapshot of the team’s financial performance. Those documents show that revenue from the stadium’s 10,635 most expensive seats has fallen 58 percent, to $41.8 million from $99.3 million in 2009. In that period, concession sales have decreased 29 percent and parking revenue has dropped 20 percent. The team reportedly lost $70 million in 2011. Meanwhile, attendance at Citi Field has fallen by 32.5 percent since the stadium opened in 2009.
Of course, this is just a partial snapshot of team finances: it doesn’t account at all for broadcast revenues.
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