According to the New York Post, team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have refinanced $450 million in loans borrowed against cable network SNY. They have been working toward this since October.
Back in October the New York Times reported that this would no only reduce semi annual loan payments significantly and create less revolving debt, but that the owners could net $30-$40 million in dividends and cashout. Also, by completing it before the new year, they avoided higher capital gains taxes on their SNY investment.
The Post also mentions that S&P estimates that stadium revenue fell six percent last year, with seat revenue suffering the most significant decline of 13 percent. Suite sales were the saving grace, rising 11 percent — but S&P said that was due, in large part, to the Mets’ parent, Sterling, now owning “about 20 percent of the suites.”
Rival ratings firm Moody’s holds a different view and in November upgraded its outlook on the ballpark.
The Wilpons have authorized an increase in payroll over the $95 million payroll level in 2012, but the front office has yet to sign a singular MLB free agent citing their disdain for players desiring more than what the front office believes they are worth. If things stay as is and they fill out the rest of the team with $500K players, the Mets will have a payroll under $85 million for the first time since the 1990′s.