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! The New York Mets, which share the largest media market in the country with arguably the most storied franchise
in baseball history have failed by any number of measures over the decade-plus of Wilpon ownership
The Mets have averaged 79 wins per season over such time, while spending $1.45mm per win (on average 26%
above the league average) and posting a below average total WAR in 9 of 12 seasons
Further, the Mets have only reached the playoffs once, losing in the NLCS in 2006, while missing the playoffs
on the last game of the season in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008
Attendance has declined at a rate of 2.2% per year since 2002, and 7.5% per year over the last 5 seasons, while
MLB attendance increased by 1% annually since 2002 and remained flat over the last 5 seasons
The Mets payroll has actually declined since the beginning of the Wilpons tenure, falling by 8.5% and 9.5%
annually over 3- and 5-year timeframes; the Mets payroll has declined by 40% from its peak of ~$149mm in
2009 to the opening day 2014 payroll of ~$89mm
! Coinciding with the teams declining on-field performance, the Wilpons financial position and credibility has
deteriorated, necessitating emergency capital raises and multiple refinancings
Having drawn fully on the leagues $70mm line of credit, in fall 2010 the Mets received a $20mm emergency
loan from Major League Baseball
In 2011 the Mets were forced to seek out additional equity investors, obtaining an incremental $40mm bridge
loan in the process
The Mets sold 12 minority stakes for $240mm in March 2012
In January 2013 the Mets refinanced an additional $450mm by encumbering their crown jewel property, the
SNY network
In January 2014 the Mets refinanced an additional $250mm in debt
Situation Overview
It is in the best interest of Major League Baseball ( MLB) that the Commissioner compel
existing ownership to sell the New York Mets (Mets) to a party with the financial wherewithal
and lack of distractions necessary to return a winning National League franchise to New York
Source: Baseball Almanac, ESPN, Fangraphs, the New York Times.
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! Whether it necessitated the aforementioned capital raises or not, the Mets were required to pay
$162mm to settle a clawback lawsuit in connection with the Madoff Ponzi Scheme
The Wilpons relationship with and substantial funding of their operations via Bernard Madoff is well-
documented, and further diminished the Mets public face
! The Mets poor performance, ownerships proclaimed financial commitment and strength, contradicted by
substantial payroll cuts and emergency capital raises and poor public perception in connection with the
Madoff scandal and other actions have badly hurt ownerships credibility with the fans and media
! The Major League Baseball Constitution (the Constitution) charges the Commissioner with the power
to act on any matter that involves the integrity of, or public confidence in, the national game of
baseball (Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution)
Integrity shall include without limitationthe ability of, and the public perception that, players and
Clubs perform and compete at all times to the best of their abilities. (Article II, Section 4)
Public confidence shall include without limitation the public perceptionthat there is an appropriate
level of long-term competitive balance among clubs. (Article II, Section 4)
! By words and actions, the Wilpons integrity must be questioned, while public confidence in the team has
undoubtedly plummeted based on the Mets poor performance, and ownerships inability to support the
team; these failings fall well within the purview of the Commissioner
Situation Overview (contd)
The Mets fans and MLB deserve a competitive and entertaining National League team befitting of New York City; the
Mets current ownership has failed in connection therewith, requiring the Commissioner to take action
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Source: Major League Baseball Constitution dated June 2005, The New York Times.