In February the Wilpons turned down a $2.6 Billion offer to sell the Mets, now just four months later they’ll be lucky to sell the team at all.
The Wilpons are attempting to sell the Mets during a pandemic, so the expectations of coming away winning in this situation were relatively low but wow has this sale been a disaster.
It was expected that the Wilpons would start to field offers to the Mets at the beginning of July with hopes of coming to a deal by October to give the Wilpons time to present the offer to MLB before the end of 2020.
It is crucial they complete a deal before 2021 as the New York Post reports that the Mets are losing close to $90 million a typical season with their remaining debt on Citi Field and the just the operating costs of running a baseball stadium. But from the impact COVID-19 has had on MLB, the Mets are estimated to lose more than $200 million this season.
According to Thornton McEnery and Josh Kosman of the New York Post, inside bidders are now aware the Wilpons need to sell the Mets before the end of the year, so they must find a buyer in the coming weeks to give themselves enough time to work out a deal and get it sent and approved by the MLB before 2021 starts.
There is reportedly a deal worth $1.4 Billion on the table from potential buyers Josh Harris and David Blitzer for the Mets without their TV network SNY, but it’s unlikely the Mets want that deal seeing as they pulled out of a similar deal worth $2.6 Billion with Steven Cohen in February.
The other high-profile bid for the Mets comes from Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, among others, who is working with JPMorgan Chase to purchase the team and also happen to be the group the Mets have their loan with for Citi Bank Field.
Another twist that does not bode well for the Wilpons is that Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are working with high-level bankers at JPMorgan Chase on their own high-profile bid. The Wilpons are reportedly looking to improve their financial picture by getting some relief on their $250 million revolving loan, but that relief would have to come from their lender: JPMorgan Chase.
“Jamie Dimon can tell A-Rod what to offer,” joked one Wall Street source, referring to the bank’s CEO.
It’s going to be hard for the Wilpons to find a better deal than the ones they’ve turned down now, especially since the bidders are aware of the Wilpons’ need to sell the team as soon as possible. And while there is an argument that the franchise could gain value with the league’s new TV deal with Turner Sports and a potential deal with ESPN, it’s hard to see anyone thinking this club can turn a profit after already failing to do so in regular season not effected by COVID.
The Mets are in a financial crisis unrivaled by any other team in the league at the moment, and the blame falls once again on the Wilpons shoulders. Which, if you haven’t been following the Mets closely over the years, is a reoccurring theme for them.