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Are the Mets Receiving Revenue Sharing?



By Mike Silva ~ November 3rd, 2011. Filed under: New York Mets.

Bud Selig recently gave the Mets an enthusiastic “thumbs upwhen talking about the team’s finances. This despite the Madoff suit still looming over ownership, $500 million in loans due in 2014, $450 million borrowed against SNY, and $600 million in Citi Field debt. Let’s also not forget they are over a month behind in the $25 million dollar payment on money borrowed from MLB. Is Selig so confident about the Mets financial fortunes because of the “none of your business” investors the Wilpons are claiming to have lined up? Or is he confident in the team’s fortunes because they are being supported by MLB’s piggy bank in the form of loans and revenue sharing? Yes, you heard me, revenue sharing.

Because baseball is a private industry with an antitrust exemption we will never know the terms of the loan taken out by the team. Selig could easily make that payment go away if he feels it’s in the best interest of the ownership group. Remember, the last thing he wants to deal with before his retirement is a transfer of power with the New York Mets. He currently has his hands full with the Dodgers and Frank McCourt. Knowing how much Selig has done to help the Wilpons through this mess would it surprise you if the team is receiving revenue share payments as well?

Revenue-sharing money comes from two pools. One is central fund revenue, which comes from national TV and radio deals, MLB Advanced Media, merchandise sales, and the MLB Network. Every club gets a check from this revenue source.

The other pool is made up of net local revenues, such as ticket sales, concessions and media deals that each club negotiates for television and radio. Against that money, each club is hit with a marginal rate of 31 percent, which is applied across the board to each of the 30 clubs. The only exception comes if a club happens to be in the midst of stadium construction. After all the numbers are added up, money moves from payors (high revenue clubs) to payees (low revenue clubs). Again, baseball is a private industry so they never announce the details of what teams are payors and payees.

Keep in mind the Mets have been hit hard in this category as their attendance is way down, which obviously results in a decline in concession revenue. I also just mentioned their debt against SNY. In short, they don’t appear to be on the top of the food chain when looking at this on the surface. The fact they needed to borrow funds from MLB tells you they were running out of cash to just make ends meet this season.

The confidence expressed in the Mets financial solvency tells me Selig is either completely naive to how dire the situation or at ease since he is providing corporate welfare to the Wilpons to help save their ownership.

Obviously, this is purely speculative on my part, but the league has brought this upon themselves due to their veil of secrecy. They are rarely upfront and honest with their business, thus leading individuals, like me, to question their motives when one plus one doesn’t appear to equal two.

Even if the Mets aren’t getting additional MLB support outside of the $25 million, the fact that a New York ownership group needs league money to make ends meet despite playing in a new stadium is downright embarrassing.

The fact that I even can put together a speculative piece that has the Mets as revenue sharing recipients is even more absurd.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Are the Mets Receiving Revenue Sharing?

  1. Nik

    I can’t believe this is the same team I rooted for in the 80′s. It wasn’t supposed to be like this…

  2. Stu B

    I feel you, Nik…

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