Wednesday, March 21, 2012

N.Y. Mets ~ Chilling Numbers and The Met Estate

From the desk of:   HEAD BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS:  According to My Math, Fred Wilpon's Numbers are Chilling!  And He Should Give His Laid-Off Employees Their Jobs Back!

The smoke is still clearing from the Madoff/Picard flame-out.  But that account will be settled soon.  The dollars involved are no longer a mystery.  The bank loan is paid off, as is Fred Wilpon's loan from MLB.  This year's debt payments on Citi Field are now up to date.  Pay roll should have been set aside by now.  And I guess the lawyers have been paid too.  They always get paid.

Using very very round figures, I think The Saul B. Katz Dilemma books look something vaguely like this:

2011-2012 CREDITS:

$250 Million - Proceeds From $20 Million Dollar Per Portion Cupcake Sale
$480 Million - My estimated Citi Field/Gate Related Revenue, *based - 2.4 million spending $100; all inclusive.
$730 Million - Gross

2011-2012 DEBITS:

$1 Million and change - Bobby Bonilla Payments
$10 Million - Picard Related Lawyer Fees
$60 Million - Bank Loan
$25 Million - MLB Loan
$70 Million - Stated Citi Field and Gate Losses 2011
$70 Million - Team's Projected Citi Field and Gate Related Losses 2012
$140 Million - 2011 Player Salaries
$90 Million - 2012 Player Salaries
$200 Million - Unscientifically Arrived at Citi Field Debt Payments, etc. 2011-2012
$666 Million!  Chilling!  Isn't it?


$64 Million


*$162 Million Due in Three Years.

I will subtract payment for YEAR ONE = $54 Million



Fuzzy math aside, There are obviously more revenue streams not discussed here, as there are also more debits (I'm sure) not discussed as well.  For argument's sake, let's call those undisclosed figures, a wash.  And let's leave Fred Wilpon in the black at $10 million dollars.  That's not a bad way to end the day after being faced with potential financial ruin.

And Now..., A Message From Your Real Sponsor:

Fred Wilpon sure looked like a happy man Monday - didn't he?
Now I wonder if he'd consider giving the office employees he laid-off their jobs back?

C'mon Fred, don't be the Beast of Flushing.  Do the right thing.  Imagine all the good publicity you'd get for doing something like that.  Or at least give them an "I'm Sorry" check to show remorse for what you did.  I'm sure their families could use the money.  Give them something to smile about too.

We Are the Third Met Estate

We the Met Fan, in order to form a more perfect ball club.....

Many of the money woes Fred Wilpon encountered are now finally on their way to getting resolved.  But there is still the matter of US to deal with.  He knows we aren't on the best of terms right now.  So I'd appreciate it if he wasn't so coy about owning this team forever, as he says.  We get that.

Here's the real bottom line.  The fact is, according to my numbers, we the Fans, can bail him out of his remaining financial mess by busting the Gates of Citi Field with 3 1/2 million strong.  That is, IF we wanted to.  We can do that easily.  Just ask the Yankees!  And if we can't save him by the end of this season, I'm sure we can come close.  Then another season of busting the gate with three million fans should have Fred's team of accountants very busy indeed.

Even though he's made the cost of attending a game substantially more difficult to budget, trust me Fred, we still want to go to the park and spend some money.  However, he needs to make us want to.  Only we decide when we want to go to a game.  For my part, he underestimated our willingness to sit patiently through a rebuilding period.  Too many organizational missteps, increasing off-field issues, and a lack of forthrightness, negatively influenced many fans' willingness to be part of the walk-up gate.  That's where the real money is made.  Teams already know how much the ticket subscribers spent.  The walk-up gate is the unknown.  It can be a total disappointment, or a pot of gold.

We all know Fred is not out of the woods yet.  The obvious former stream of revenue worthy of mention - the Madoff Gravy Train went POOF!  That is discretionary income this organization  will no longer have to play with.  Then there is the matter of a few new owners on board.  Fred Wilpon will either have to pay back all the money he raised by selling off $20 million dollar shares in the Club, with the agreed upon interest, or, lose a corresponding share of ownership in the team.

And as far as I'm concerned, the cash infusion the shares provided were raised in part by double-dipping.  Multiple shares were purchased by Jeff Wilpon; Saul Katz; and the SNY partnership. So it seems to me as if the demand for "no-rights shares" wasn't exactly as high as Wilpon originally hoped.  And to me that belies true confidence in his plan.

But congratulations.  At least there is finally some faint light flickering at the end of his tunnel.

Mr. Wilpon should consider this a new beginning.  As smartly as he can as an owner, getting this house in order again and rethinking what kind of relationship he would like to have with his team's fan base is in his best interest.  Maybe, we can reach some sort of settlement too?

I'll only say this - I don't like being duped; especially at these prices.  He was never terribly forthright about the organization's money woes.  And ever since buying out his former partner and gaining full control of the Mets, he has effectively reduced our Empire City Baseball Club into a third world team.

We the Fans, have the power to wipe his financial slate clean, or, by not showing up at all - wipe him out.  So things are going to have to be different than they've been around here if we are to affect a positive influence on Fred Wilpon's and our team's behalf.  After all, his situation is invariably our situation too.

It seems like a crummy deal.  But it is what it is.  So allow me to reintroduce ourselves.  We Are New York Met Baseball Fans.


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