B-Mets to Ottawa Deal Falls Through?

Adam Ruben from ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that a deal to sell and relocate the Double-A Binghamton Mets (Eastern League) to Ottawa “appears to have fallen through, according to a source with knowledge of the minor league arrangement.”  Read more here.  Meanwhile, B-Mets president Michael Urda continues to deny reports that the team is part of any Ottawa deal.  Read more here.

10 Comments

Filed under League & Franchise

10 responses to “B-Mets to Ottawa Deal Falls Through?

  1. Tom Ryan

    I’m a Binghamton native who grew up watch the 1954-68 Binghamton Triplets (Yankee single A—-when you had D-C-B-A-AA-AAA). I’m amazed at the escalation of team valuations today. I recall the Kinston NC franchise being sold for $250k in 1981 when it was a ‘high A” Carolina League franchise. NYP teams selling now for $4m!!?? Wow: if you calculate the “real dollar value” of such a sale as you compare it to the Kinston franchise deal I just mentioned——you’re looking at that $250k deal in 1981 actualizing at about $1.2m in today’s dollars.

    With respect to Binghamton: I recall sitting in Johnson Field watching the ’54–’68 Triplets drawing 2,000 on a GOOD night. I recall their 140 game (70 home game) schedule produced total attendance of around 90k in a good year. Mind you, this is when Binghamton, Johnson City and Endicott were still garden spots due to big employers like IBM. IBM shipped around 30,000 jobs to my present state of residence—-North Carolina during the ’70’s When I visit my hometown of Bing. these days it just depresses me. The economy is not in the toilet—-rather it has created its own cesspool under the house.

    So all in all, I think it’s wonderful that my hometown of Bingo has supported the Mets AA franchise all of these years. I admire the town’s guts in keeping a AAA American Hockey League franchise for a long duration (albeit struggling at the gate—-averaging around 3200 fans in a small, 4700 seat building. Finally, the Champions PGA tour has thrived at EnJoie golf course (one of a handful of truly public courses on either tour).

    The B-Mets will alas, most likely leave. I live in a Short Season minor league town in Burlington, NC (64 games) and I can tell you that a true BB fan such as myself dare not blink, because is over shortly after it starts.

    Keep your head up, Binghamton!

    • Mickey

      Tom, good points, for example Dayton Dragons are a high A team with a valuation of over $20m, the recent Tucson Padres sold to that group looking to move to El Paso, TX for $20m, Independent League Teams have sold for roughly $1m on average in the Golden Baseball League to teams in the Atlantic League having valuations of $15m+. Sports business is strange as most teams don’t make any money and even a greater percentage loses money annually, yet team valuations have such a great appreciation value that its a very hard investment to explain.

    • Michael

      Great post Tom. The Triplets at Johnson Field in Johnson City were before my time, and there was no professional baseball to be had in the area during my boyhood. I was 20 when the B-Mets set up camp, and I sat in the rain with about 6,000 other paying customers on opening day in 1992. After helping the crowd to shower loud “boos” on Governor Mario Cuomo and Mayor Juanita Crabb (throwing out ceremonial first pitches), I left after the game was officially cancelled due to rain. An inauspicious start to Binghamton’s return to the Eastern League, for sure.

      It’s now spring of 2014, and I’m glad to see that the AA Mets are still in town. I never understood why Ottawa seemed like such an attractive proposition. They had a AAA team there, starting just 1 year after the B-Mets did. Like Binghamton, Ottawa too had pretty quick success on and off the field, yet their attendance plummeted far faster than we have seen in Binghamton. In their last years, the Lynx drew FAR LESS than the B-Mets did – a AAA team in a much bigger city, I remind you.

      Ottawa and Binghamton already have a relationship in sports, formed when the Ottawa Senators moved their AHL franchise to Binghamton in 2002. This went against the grain in the AHL, where teams were moving to bigger arenas in bigger cities (just like Binhamton when the Rangers left for Hartford in 1997). But many teams struggle financially in the bigger cities due to higher operating costs. Binghamton may be small, but it’s a lot cheaper to run a team here than in many other locales. The arena to which you referred may be small, but it’s also considered to provide a decent home-ice advantage, and has a reputation of being very loud – mainly due to its diminutive size.

      I do question your attendance figures though, which you quoted as being around 3,200. The B-Sens lowest average attendance was actually 3,559 (2012-13), which has since rebounded to 3,936 for 2013-14. Compare that with the Hartford Wolfpack (which left Binghamton in 1997 for greener pastures and bigger bucks), which averaged 4,071. The Wolfpack plays in an arena that seats 15,635, while the Senators’ arena seats 4,679. So Binghamton plays in front of stands that are 84% full, while Hartford does so before 26% capacity. (source: hockeydb.com)

      Granted, the B-Mets don’t play under cover, so filling a 6,000 seat baseball stadium with only half the chairs filled isn’t going to make the place any louder. That’s too bad. But you still can’t be the price of doing business at NYSEG Stadium at $1 a year.

  2. patrick

    Commish to be honest i am not sure but i believe binghamton mets will be sold one way or another it just takes time agreements concessions and assurances from the parties so lets just hope it gets resolve before April 2013 baseball season

  3. Commish

    Can somone buy it now but not take over till 2014? How does that work? I assume the B-Mets will be in Bingo for 2013. But who will be in charge if the team is sold?

  4. patrick

    Well i believe in my opinon the binghamton mets ryan sanders baseball group will make a deal but 4 parties has to think of senaros what would work what wont what concessions to give so this will take time am i right?

  5. in the know

    Ryan was quoted as to wanting to make a good deal. Once Akron sold for $16.5 that set the bar for Urda. Perhaps that scuttled things for now.

  6. patrick

    so this is far from over right?

  7. patrick

    alan can the ryan group rebid and try again?

    • ballparkbiz

      They could stay at the table as long as it takes, or until one party finally says (and means), “that’s my final offer.”

      Alan

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