Mets will spend more… if fans go to games

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Sandy Alderson expects the team’s payroll to increase with on-field success, but only if they’re supported by fans at the gate, he told a group of season-ticket holders at Citi Field late Thursday.

Well, that’s one way to go about it…

The Mets are in a tough spot, because they play in a market that now requires extra sizzle for sales, regardless of wins and losses. This was not always the case. I think they’d like to assume winning cures all, and that can be true. But, look at the Yankees, who won 85 games and contended for a playoff spot, yet had revenue, attendance and ratings all dip, presumably because of the lack of name talent in pinstripes. In other words, winning is great, but it does not guarantee support. I do believe Mets fans are more inclined to support a no-name winner, but stars can help create buzz, advanced ticket sales and keep people entertained and hopeful at a time when both are fleeting.

I was under the impression the team had been spending relative to revenue consistently over the last decade, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Here’s a look at how player expenses (including salary, benefits and bonuses) compare as a percentage of revenue, based on estimates from an annual report published by Forbes…

Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 10.01.40 PM

Last year was a 12-year low, according to Forbes, with an overall downward trend dating back to 2004.

In Alderson’s defense, it seems that when the team started playing better and earning more money during the last decade, Ownership’s spending as a percentage of revenue did go up in the years that followed. But, as is usually the case with the team’s history, that success was fleeting and eventually gave way to yet another ‘rebuilding phase.’

Alderson’s goal with the Mets is to build a foundation of talent (particularly pitching), along with David Wright, that can hopefully create a decade-long run of consistent success (or longer). In the event this happens, and they sell more tickets, the above chart indicates payroll should go up, which can hopefully help propel the team even further than their homegrown talent is capable of doing…




318 comments
Bringback86
Bringback86

..."because they play in a market that now requires extra sizzle for sales.".......Are you kidding me? Seriously? It sounds like the Mets are tearing a page out of Nancy Pelosi's "if you want to know what's in the healthcare bill you'll have to sign it first then when it passes we'll tell you what's in it."......on top of that, you can't compare the Mets attendance to the Yankees for the simple fact the Yankees were winning, the Mets weren't.

The Mets will spend more...if fans go to games. Yeah right...you mean the Wilpons can recover from their financial woes such as the Madoff scandal....if Met fans go to games. This organization just hit a new low...if that's possible.

cactus
cactus

hey matt...when is winning 85 games and missing the playoffs when 1/3 of the league makes it a "winning" season? are you that brainwashed by the wilpons?  yankee fans expect much better than that, yet you hope for meaningful games in september and call that "winning".  pretty pathetic.

cactus
cactus

you guys need to remember - this is what angelos did in baltimore, and what fred hoped would happen here - the new stadium sells the tickets.  the more people that come out, the easier it is to spend money on players.  it's a despicable way of running a team, but what else do you expect from these clowns?



cactus
cactus

what an out of touch, smug, a hole alderson is.  he'll be a great replacement for bud selig as the commissioner next year.

eric88
eric88

The Wilpons have been stealing our ticket money for years through their inferior product and excessive ticket prices. Now they would like us to give more or they won't spend. That is Blackmail. Besides I believe if we do attend more they won't spend it anyway, just like the BS they have been giving us about 2014 for years, and instead this will be our lowest payroll yet.

James Jewett
James Jewett

Wow. Try giving us a good product and then we will buy in. That is how it works. This is why they are the #LOLMets. #Clueless

Al Nunez
Al Nunez

IF????????????????????????????????????????????UGH SOMEONE A COUP PLEASE!!!!! 

robny
robny

That is an insult to the Met fans and  I have been a fan since attending their first game. They have been giving us an inferior team for nearly a decade and in recent years  blaming it on owners finances. We could by that BS

when the Trustee was going after them for a billion dollars but that has been resolved with negligible cost to ownership, The poverty claim is given further lie by their intent to do a massive development deal on the property that  is currently part of the stadium's parking lot and mostly seized for them -Willets Point. There they are obviously willing and able to invest:: YET THEY DEMAND the fans pay forward for the team development. I find that attitude totally  without both  merit and logic. I think the fans should show their disdain by not buying tickets until ownership shows a proper willingness to fund to the team or perhaps they can sell it for a couple of billion and we can get big market mentality coming from the top !

bobblehead
bobblehead

There's some great hard-hitting debate about the Mets and it's owners over on MMOnline. Come on over everyone, you won't regret it.

mrmet1
mrmet1

What nerve! A half bankrupt team, acting like a small market team, charging top dollar at major market prices, bringing in over the hill retreads like Colon and Farnsworth, and before that Francisco etc., letting go the heart, soul and any hope for excitement when Reyes was unceremoniously dumped for nothing in return, expects Met fans to actually pay money to see this team. This is a depressing, 2nd rate, loser of a team that Alderson has assembled that is too sad to watch, let alone pay for tickets. Shame on you for this incredulous comment Sandy Alderson. PUT A TEAM ON THE FIELD FIRST!

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

There's substantially more Yankee fans, which means if they draw 4 million, that's reflective of their fan base, whereas if the mets draw 4million, it means mets fans attended more games, which is tough in a slow economy.


The yankees have more fans, because theyve invested in drawing more fans by winning + stars. Not the other way around. This is why when anyone says the mets and yankees are not in competition, they're misleading you. 

mustang66
mustang66

the nerve of Sandy Alderson to put the onus of the Mets payroll on the fans. I wouldn't pay a dime to see this team. Sign a major league shortstop and I will go to a few games. Prove to me you can win and I will go to a few more games. First you build a winner, then the fans will come. Just look back a half a dozen years when they drew over 4 million people. They had a good team with reasonable prices. I will no longer pay $500 for three seats which are in the middle of the stadium to see a quadruple a team. You guys have some big set on you. Selah f****** team if you can afford to put a winning product on the field. And Sandy, f*** you.

Olerud42
Olerud42

Do what you want Wilpons. I'll attend games to the extent that I am excited about the team. If you don't want to spend more money, that's your problem. I'll be happy to do other things with my time. 

Curtis Batdorf
Curtis Batdorf

What a "classy" organization this is. Now its the fans' fault this team has no money and sucks!

...absolutely pathetic, although completely predictable.

Jason Martinez
Jason Martinez

The organization is trying now and succeeding even if it's in small increments but--- it's growing into bigger increments. Just keep believing,, they are continuing to get better. PERIOD. STOP WITH ALL THE DOUBTING COMMENTS.

Jason Martinez
Jason Martinez

Common people-- be a little more optimistic. Stop reacting with negativism so much. The mets are headed for plenty of better days ahead. When u get in a hole, you have to get out that hole 1st.

metfan8669
metfan8669

The truth is that they should have lowered ticket prices the last couple of years.  And while there is some optimism, they should have cheaper tickets this year too.  I go to fewer games because of the ticket prices.

Even when the team isn't playing great I would still go to games if it wasn't outrageously priced. To bring my girlfriend, park the car and buy a drink and a hot dog I have to be willing to shell out way more money than it should be.

Stuff the financial studies that got you to your pricing points.  Those reports are WRONG.  Just like the stupid studies that told you to build a pitcher friendly park, with green seats and a black wall in the outfield.  Keep on alienating fans with stupid, money driven decisions.

Mets fans have heart and that's why ownership can't connect with us.  They are lost in their own pompous and irrational minds.

CodyNastasia
CodyNastasia

@ronmatti well if the season isn't over by the time summer starts then fans will go 2 games

Joe Kurioo
Joe Kurioo

It doesnt work that way sand man. You spend we come if you dont have anything to spend SELL THE TEAM. 

Anthony Schifano
Anthony Schifano

Fans will go to games, if Mets spend more. To put all their problems on the fans is dispicable. I am amazed at how they do business and get away with it.

David
David

We need to go watch a double A team play, and we have to pay these prices for tickets and food which are very high, then they might spend more.. What a joke

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

When the Mets provide excitement on the field, the fans will come to CitiField and fill the seats.

Craig Stein
Craig Stein

It doesn't work that way, Fred....

You spend, you win, we come.

If you're relying on ticket revenue to pay the bills then you need togo

....................
....................

hahah. so the onus is on us to go for them to spend in the #1 market somewhere in the middle of the pack as opposed to the bottom. no it works the other way around. especially after the last few years. 

Robert Hess
Robert Hess

OK let me get this straight.  Fans go to the park and support the Mets and then  WHEN ???  the Mets "say" they will spend more money.  NO idiot it works the other way - the club spends money putting a good product on the field and then the fans come to the ballpark increasing team revenue.  How could any GM in their right mind not see this?

rubiconx0
rubiconx0

what a joke of a post, if Alderson really said this, he is out of his mind!! doesnt he realize the fan base doesnt trust in or believe anything he or ownership say? Put a club worth seeing on the field FIRST and prove you have the money and want to win!! Tejada,Duda, Ike ARE NOT worth spending good money to come out and see! First step in the right direction would be to sign Drew!!

sayhey24
sayhey24

Ok people. I'm thinking of starting a restaurant. If enough of you come and shell out money for just sitting there eventually I will be able to serve you food and drinks. Deal?

anymos
anymos

@mrmet1 Its not nerve its logic.  The article says he expects payroll to increase with on field success - as long as fans come out to see the team.  He's not telling you to come watch a crappy club finish last.  He's saying when the team starts winning, if fans return to the park- they'll have more money to put into the payroll. 

anymos
anymos

@mustang66 That's pretty much exactly what he said, they can spend more if they start winning and fans come out to the games again.

metfan8669
metfan8669

@Jason Martinez - You two comments are irrational Jason. -- What does doubting have to do with this? 

I think that the on the field team and better investments in the team are going in the right direction.  BUT that is not connected to ticket prices and the number of fans attending games they way they are expressing it. 

Two very different conversations.

I am optimistic about this year. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't go to more games if it was priced cheaper to do so.

eric88
eric88

@Jason Martinez  Optimistic is fine, but don't bye the lies about them spending more if we go to more games {2nd highest ticket prices in MLB] but with the 25th highest payroll in MLB they must spend first then we go. NO MORE LIES, remember 2014 will be our year to spend after bad contracts ran out. Well, lowest payroll so far in well over a decade! No more BS. Im staying home.

eric88
eric88

@metfan8669  Don't forget all the Dodger shrines before we shamed them to make Mets hall of fame. Which proves we have the power. SO STAY HOME.

anymos
anymos

@Joe Kurioo Actually it does work that way.  If they spend $85M and are in first place- people will be at the games.  If all that matters is payroll and the name of the guy wearing the jersey- there's a team in the Bronx that's a perfect fit.

cactus
cactus

@Anthony Schifano i blame the fans for going at all when they are disrespected by the front office like this.