Mets Lose $70 Million in 2011, Attendance Down 7%

According to a report in the New Yorker by Howard Megdal, the Mets losses for the 2011 season are estimated at $70 million dollars. Megdal also says that the Mets ownership will probably not approve a six figure deal for Reyes, saying that they would rather take the PR hit from the fans rather than risk putting themselves in deeper financial straits.

If the current ownership’s previous record is any indication, the PR hit they’ll take for letting Reyes walk means little to them compared to the prospect of running out of money and having to sell the team. Adding a commitment of roughly $20 million per year when they’re virtually at the end of their financial rope could still happen, of course. But given that Fred Wilpon’s and Saul Katz’s actions to this point have been designed to retain their ownership at the expense of their public reputation and the product on the field, it seems sadly probable that Jose Reyes’s single at-bat today will be his last for the team.

During the final game of the season, the Mets announced an attendance 28,816, giving them a final attendance total of 2,352,596 for the season. That’s a drop of about 7 percent from last year and represents their their lowest total since 2004, when they played at Shea Stadium.

I’d bet more than 15% of that paid attendance never made it to the games. Looking at all those empty seats during many homestands, it never really coincided with the paid attendance announcments after each game. I wish they would announce the turnstyle count instead or in addition to paid attendance.