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NY Mets' Citi Field revenues down 30 pct since '09

Citi Field revenues have dropped more than 30 percent since the New York Mets ballpark opened in 2009, and premium ticket sales are down by nearly 50 percent, according to financial records.

Overall attendance declined 26 percent, to 2.3 million, and during that time, revenues for concessions and parking slipped. The financial documents obtained by Newsday (http://bit.ly/xPvZQP ) show that concession revenue dropped 28 percent since 2009, to $10.9 million in 2011. Newsday reported in its Sunday editions that parking was down 37 percent, to $7 million.

Ticket sales for the 10,635 premium seats also declined from $99.3 million in 2009 to $50.6 million through 2011. The seats are about 25 percent of the 42,000-seat stadium.

The records reflect the finances for Queens Ballpark Company LLC, the subsidiary of Sterling Mets responsible for ballpark operations. The documents, obtained by the newspaper through a Freedom of Information request, highlight some of team's financial struggles following the fraud committed by disgraced financier Bernard Madoff.

The owners of the Mets are being sued by a bankruptcy trustee trying to recoup some of the $50 billion in Madoff fraud money. A federal judge was expected to rule Monday on whether the case would go forward.

The Mets pay $1 million per year to lease the stadium. Overall expenses for the park are at most $88 million since the park was built through the sale of city bonds that are being repaid by the Mets. The records obtained by Newsday are designed to show only that the Mets can repay city debts, and they don't include funds from other team operations, like player payroll and television contracts.

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Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com