April 2009: is it a realistic financial plan for the Mets to almost always sell out

Earlier today I started working on an ebook (more on that to come) and I went searching through the MP archives for some memory refresher and I stumbled across this one from April 2009!  The formatting is a little screwy because the site was on a different system back then….but for a dopey blog sometimes I make some good points.  Again, April 2009…

On Sunday I read some comments from David Howard, VP of business operations with the Mets, which got me wondering.

Howard said the Mets finances make sense if Citi draws 3.2 million to 3.3 million, which will be better than what we averaged year in and year out at Shea.

We had a design and qualitative objective that had to make financial sense, and it does, he said. And if we sell a lot of tickets, it’ll make a lot of financial sense.

To draw more than three million will mean selling out almost every game, unless the team augments those who pay for seats by selling 3,000 to 4,000 standing-room spots, which Howard said there was room to do in the wide concourses.

That first sentence worries me.  The plan is to draw 3.2 million every year?  That’s a tall tale, no?   They’ll do it with a new park, they’ll do it when they win, but what if they lose 100 games in 2016?  Hopefully they’ll just win and draw 3.2 million every year.

Wow.  The Mets have reportedly only drawn 3.2 million three times (2006-2008) and were just shy of that mark in 2010.

Now that we’ve all been to Citi Field can you imagine 4,000 people standing?  

So in 2009 even a dopey blogger was wondering about the financial plans.  Hmmm.  

Here’s the original Times article.


6 Replies to “April 2009: is it a realistic financial plan for the Mets to almost always sell out”

  1. And this wishful thinking is the cause of all of our problems. I wonder if the Mets end up in bankruptcy, if a new owner could make things work without needing to sell out every game every year.

  2. oh ya, 3.2 million makes perfect sense.  before the 2009 team imploded, what went wrong?  the economy (which they should have seen in April 2009), and the stadium itself just isn’t that good.

    ok, try to do some math.  i don’t know what the attendance was in 2009, but how much more revenue would they have made if they had reached 3.2 million?  then, would that have covered the team’s losses?

    their economic model only made sense when the fake “profits” from Bernie Madoff were included because without it, the Mets were losing money ball over bat for several years.

  3. Doesn’t sound like a well thought out plan at all. How much have they raised ticket prices from the first year in Shea2?

    They might have tried to overcome the sell out by raising ticket prices.

  4. Big elephant in the room…even if the Mets draw 3.2 Million next year somehow, the revenue from that will probably be much lower than they planned for in 2009, due to the explosion in online ticket marketplaces. MLB recognized the power of a StubHub and embraced it…but as a result, “Since 2007, average ticket sales prices on StubHub, regardless of sport, have fallen each year, dropping from $112 per ticket in 2007 to $104 in ’08, $94 in ’09, $84 in ’10 and $82 thus far this year.” Angels executive Robert Alvarado was very outspoken about the BAM/StubHub alliance. “We did it to ourselves, StubHub was a small player. And we blew it up. They’re legitimate now. And it’s killing us. It’s killing us. Location. Price. Just about every advantage we had over the secondary market is gone. It’s the blurring of the lines. Because, in my opinion, we failed to do our due diligence before we jumped into bed with StubHub.”

    Read the full article here.

    So with ticket prices pressured by marketplaces, poorer attendance due to the team and the economy, lower TV ratings, tremendous debt and Madoff suit hanging overhead, it looks like the perfect storm. Their entire business model is flawed. If this current ownership hangs on, I will have to hand it to them…they are in a tie game, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, no out jam with Pujols facing Armando Benitez.

  5. I guess you don’t approve of sons running businesses either. You may be onto something. 

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