Regardless, one angle that has not received too much press yet (in fairness, it hasn't even been 24 hours) is the financial impact that the slide will have on this franchise. We are often reminded that baseball is a business, and the last two weeks have hit the Mets' bottom line hard.
To come up with an estimate, you have to permit me a few assumptions. First, let's assume that every Mets home game would be a sell out (that's an easy one). Second, since it is generally accepted that this team is not quite as good as last year's team, let's give them four home games in the playoffs this year, instead of the six they had last year (in my hypothetical, they get bounced after Game 5 of the NLCS).
With about 55,000 seats at Shea, let's figure 5,000 tickets are comped for press and other industry people, for a grand total of 200,000 home playoff tickets ((55,000-5,000) x 4 = 200,000). Let's assume the average playoff ticket is $50 (it's actually a bit higher. My upper reserve tickets for the NLDS were $45 each, and the prices increase with each round of the playoffs). That's $10,000,000 in ticket revenue. But that's just the beginning:
- Put another 32,000 cars in the lot over the four games (there are about 8000 spots at Shea), at $20 per parking space, and that's another $640,000.
- Assume everyone at the stadium buys one beer and one hot dog (not everyone does, but some people buy a lot more than one beer, so an average of one per fan is about right, I think), at $7.25 and $4.50, respectively, and that's another $2.35 million.
- Throw in another $10,000 for foam hands and t-shirts.
- I have no clue what the television revenue sharing looks like, but I have to assume they pull another few million bucks in from TBS and/or FOX.
Maybe we can pay Johan Santana with these?
It probably won't impact the direction this team takes, but it would be a shame if the 2008 Mets can't afford to pick up a front line starter for next year because the 2007 Mets couldn't afford to be bothered with all 162 games this year.