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Forbes: Mets’ Value Drops 13 Percent; Yankees Top List

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Owner Fred Wilpon (L) and his son, Jeff Wilpon, of the Mets (credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Owner Fred Wilpon (L) and his son, Jeff Wilpon, of the Mets (credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Forbes’ annual report finds the average value of Major League Baseball teams has increased 7 percent from last year to an all-time high of $523 million. That’s great news, especially for the Yankees. Not so much for the Mets.

The Yankees, worth $1.7 billion, lead the way for the 14th straight year since Forbes began valuing franchises in 1998. New York holds a firm 86% edge in value over No. 2 Boston.

Only three teams’ values didn’t increase: the Mets, San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians.

The Mets lost 13 percent of their worth amid legal and debt problem. Listed by Forbes at $858 million last year, the franchise is now valued at $747 million.

Their struggles on-field contributed to an attendance drop of 600,000 fans last season, which, according to Forbes, resulted in an estimated loss of $6.2 million in operating expenses. That’s before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization.

Hounded by a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed by the trustee trying to recover money for victims of the Bernard Madoff scheme, the Mets acknowledged that they received a loan in November to help cover expenses.

“We said in October that we expected to have a short-term liquidity issue,” the team said in February. “To address this, we did receive a loan from Major League Baseball in November. Beyond that, we will not discuss the matter any further.”

“The whole thing is very unpleasant,” former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent said after the loan became public. “No one likes to see a team in trouble. It’s a sad occasion.”

Citing two unidentified people briefed on the club’s finances, the New York Times reported earlier this month that the Mets can’t count on receiving any more money from the commissioner’s office to help cover expenses.

“Baseball’s decision to restrict the Mets’ access to further emergency funds could leave the team’s beleaguered owners … without their best remaining source of cash as they struggle to maintain control of the team,” the paper reported.

The Mets announced in January they were looking to sell a non-controlling interest in the team of 20 to 25 percent to raise several hundred million dollars. Wilpon insisted then — and insists now — his family would remain in control of the team.

The Texas Rangers’ value increased 25 percent as new ownership took over the franchise and it reached its first World Series.

The Boston Red Sox were second at $912 million in the report released Wednesday. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Mets round out the top five.

What does it all mean for the Mets? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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