As the Major League Baseball approaches its return to the game, many heads will turn to what’s going on on the field. But there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that deserves to be watched – like the potential sale of the New York Mets.
Last December, the hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen was nearing an agreement to hold a majority stake in the Mets. The deal would have given him an 80% majority stake, which would have valued the franchise at around $ 2.6 billion. However, agreement collapsed in February when the Wilpon family, led by Fred Wilpon, withdrawn from negotiations.
The Wilpons are slated to sell the team by the end of the year, but could cost them dearly.
In order to finalize an agreement before 2021, the Wilpons will have to start accepting offers in July, with a October 1 deadline to lock in a buyer. With this strict schedule, potential buyers know that Wilpons don’t have much leverage.
Such a purchasing group includes Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, among other sports franchises. Their asking price? $ 1.4 billion, according to the New York Post. That’s barely more than half of Cohen’s offer.
Action Network reporter Darren Rovell shared that the last offer comes 140 days after the termination of the Cohen agreement. He notes that the world is a little different now than it was in early February.
Of course, the mere fact that an offer is made does not mean that it will be accepted. But the Mets are quickly losing more money than usual. In a typical season, the team loses $ 90 million. With the COVID-19 pandemic eliminating more than 100 games this year, the Wilpons could lose north of $ 200 million.
By selling before the end of the year, the Wilpons would also be relieved of $ 44 million in debt payments on Citi Field for 2021.
Even with the plan to return to baseball in the next month, the pandemic will affect the sports leagues for some time. This will likely have an impact on the final offer for the Mets.
We will just have to see what the Wilpons are willing to accept.