Today's news that the Wilpons intend to sell a minority stake in the New York Mets obviously impacts the Mets, first and foremost. The simple act of needing a cash infusion tells the world that the Wilpons don't have much money to spend on the team, limiting salary additions and potentially turning next winter's $60 million shedding of payroll into a more permanent cut.
But the Wilpons have been a much-discussed option for New York in a pair of other sports: hockey and soccer.
In May of 2010, Jeff Wilpon told Newsday that he had discussed both the building of an arena in Queens, and even the purchase of the team, with current New York Islanders owner Charles Wang. For a franchise struggling to fill many seats, the relocation and new ownership stood as a reason for optimism. Obviously, the changed economic circumstances of the Wilpons makes such a move far less likely.
The announcement is likely to have even greater reverberations for Major League Soccer. Commissioner Don Garber has made no secret of his desire to see the league's next expansion, it's 20th team, land in New York. And Garber has repeatedly name-dropped the Wilpons most recently during his state of the league speech in November.
One scenario involved the Wilpons owning and operating that 20th team. Another called for the Wilpons to own and operate a soccer-only stadium for a New York franchise, possibly the New York Cosmos, a team with ownership but no actual team or place to play.
Without private money, it would be quite difficult for a soccer team to build a soccer-only stadium in New York or New Jersey, given the huge budget shortfalls facing both states.
And the lack of a second New York team, oddly enough, even hurts the New York Red Bulls, whose strong support for a second New York team stems from the belief that a rivalry tide would lift all boats.
So make no mistake: today's announcement is likely the beginning of a long, unpleasant road for the New York Mets. But for the Islanders and New York soccer fans, it is the premature end to a Queens-based dream.