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Oh good: Frank McCourt has made it easier for Fred Wilpon to borrow money

Feb 6, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York Reuters

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News makes an observation I hadn’t thought of but which, in hindsight, makes perfect sense: the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers — brought on by Frank McCourt’s financial mismanagement — has made it possibly for Fred Wilpon to borrow even more money against the New York Mets if he wants to:

For if the Dodgers wind up selling for $2 billion or more, the value of the Mets, a signature franchise in their own right, in the country’s largest media market with their own network and new stadium, despite their present hard times, have to be worth close to $3 billion. “What that means,” said the insider, “is that the Wilpons can now go back to their banks, point to the value of the team, and say: ‘Lend us more money.’”

Maybe it’s not quite that simple.  I mean, just because the Dodgers are worth a ton of money at sale doesn’t mean that Frank McCourt could get more loans and the same may apply to the Mets and Wilpon.  But, yeah, the Dodgers selling for $2 billion may very well change the playing field in New York.

  1. rooney24 - Feb 6, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Why would the Mets automatically be worth that much more money, even if the Dodgers do sell for that much?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      Rising tide lifts all boats, and other assorted metaphors.

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Except that the dodgers value all stems from the ability of the new owner to start a RSN or sell the rights to the highest bidder and because of the very high value of all the land also being sold….NOT because of the dodgers per se. The Mets, as a franchise, won’t be worth a penny more because their TV rights are already owned by a separate entity and they don’t own large tracts of valuable land for potential development that can be sold with the franchise.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        are already owned by a separate entity

        Don’t the Mets own that TV entity though? That has a ton of value. Also look at franchises like the Astros and the ton of money Jim Crane made by selling, and they only got worse during his tenure.

        The dollar figures being thrown around might be a bit off*, but you have to admit that since it’s a limited quantity, the higher the prices used to buy franchises benefits all the owners.

        *as a poster mentioned below, it’d be insane to think what the Steinbrenners could get if they decided to sell everything.

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        The Wilpon’s own part of it (or rather, the banks own part of it but are letting the Wilpon’s act like they do until they default on their loans), but SNY is a separate entity that can not be sold with the Mets, as other investors own large portions of it.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        Ah thanks, I wasn’t aware of that. I was thinking it was similar to YES.

      • phuckphilly99 - Feb 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Paerlions – SNY is 65% controlled by the Mets with Time Warner Cable (27%) and Comcast (8%) having minority stakes. YES, meanwhile, is 34% owned by the Yankees with Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity Partners owning/controlling the rest.

        You kids should really do a couple Google searches before coming on here spewing inaccurate facts.

  2. adenzeno - Feb 6, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    It is obvious that the Wilpons have no idea how to build a winning/competitive organization when they HAD millions to waste- now that they are slashing costs to try and survive, what should be a Marquee franchise in MLB will return to its roots as the laughingstock of baseball. We were there in the early 90s, now we are there again. Were MLB really smart, they would make the Wilpons sell to someone who might actually have an idea

    • ptfu - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      If the Wilpons are guilty of anything, it’s bad financial management. That hasn’t hurt the Mets until recently. You can partly blame the Wilpons for the Mets’ dim future, but not for their present.

      Omar Minaya is the real bad guy here. Yes, the Wilpons hired him and kept him around way too long, so I guess they’re indirectly responsible. But the baseball decisions were all Minaya’s. The bad signings, lack of depth, mediocre farm system, and bad trades are all squarely on Minaya’s shoulders. That and a double helping of terrible injury luck messed everything up.

      • Kevin S. - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Actually, the Wilpons deserve some blame for the mediocre farm system. They were Bud loyalists who stuck to the slotting system, allowing superior talents to pass them by.

  3. randygnyc - Feb 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    The new stadium, as an asset is worth 100’s o million more than dodger stadium. The dodgers sell their tv rights to a tv station. The mets own their own station. Those two items alone make the mets worth close to a billion more. The real question is, does this make the Yankees worth 4 or 41/2 billion? Probably.

  4. sdelmonte - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    In other words, the banks are looking to send good money after bad. As usual.

  5. umrguy42 - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    The Yankees might be worth $3 billion. The Mets are worth about $12.75 and a bag of balls right now.

    • cur68 - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Overvalued by one bag of balls, UYF, more’s the ‘effin pity….

      • umrguy42 - Feb 6, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Wrong guy, cur, I’m not uyf, I’m just the Cards fan stuck in upstate NY ;p

  6. somekat - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I dont see thte assumption that just because the Dodgers are worth 2, the Mets are worth 3. Just looking at it objectively, I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would want to own the Mets before the Dodgers.
    The Mets have their own TV network….that’s great. If it was making so much money, they wouldn’t have so many problems. So that leaves you with either A: The Mets tv revenue, which obviously isn’t enough to run the franchise correctly, or you can have B: The Dodgers expired TV deal, they can either sign another deal, or create their own network…..I’ll take B
    Mets are in a great market……so are the Dodgers, and the Dodgers aren’t the kid brother in their market (The Yankees own NY). The league has been pumping the Dodgers are “Yankees West” for decades, doubt they stop now.

    The only thing I see working in the Mets favor is the stadium. Obviously the much newer Citi field is the better venue, but when you add in all of the land the Dodgers will include, it more than makes up for that IMO. Besides, I could realistically see a new Dodgers stadium being built in the next 5-7 years. Citi Field is obviously staying for a while

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