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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NYT Explains How Madoff Scandal Could Hurt The Mets

The Wilpons continue to insist the Mets won't be affected by the ongoing Madoff Ponzi scheme, but a story in the New York Times suggests otherwise:
Wilpon bought the Mets in 1980 in a partnership with Nelson Doubleday and became the team’s principal owner in 2002, when he bought Doubleday’s share of the team. The losses that Wilpon has sustained as a result of the Madoff fraud case could hamper his ability to pay back debt related to that buyout.

The losses could also hurt Wilpon’s ability to help the Mets weather the current economic downturn. Many sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, are bracing for lower revenue next season as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.

Perhaps most troubling is the possibility that losses incurred by Sterling Equities could put pressure on Wilpon to raise money by selling other assets. Because Sterling invested money directly with Madoff, Wilpon may have to come up with money to reimburse some of his own investors for losses. That may cause him to sell valuable assets, including a portion of his ownership in the Mets.

Via BTF.

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