NEW YORK (WCBS 880/1010 WINS) – The Mets have even more problems to worry about than just the start of spring training in the coming weeks.
In fact, these problems could change the direction of the franchise for years to come. Those problems are major money issues with the owners.
Not only are the Mets’ owners looking to sell part of the team for $300 million to help pay off investors of Bernie Madoff, according to reports, but the New York Times reports owner Fred Wilpon is also hundreds of millions of dollars in debt due to costs relating to the team.
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All is not lost yet, however. There is a potential buyer in businessman Martin Silver.
“Two years ago when this first came out, I put together some people and the Wilpons publicly told me they were not interested,” Silver said.
Silver’s still interested, but he still has to meet with the Wilpons before any more can be said of the franchise and any deals to be made.
Silver tried to buy the Mets in 2009 when the team was valued at $850 million, but he said the team is not worth that much anymore—a factor that would play a significant role in any deal.
The Long Island native is interested in buying 20 to 25 percent of the team. His interests stem from the desire to bring the Mets back.
“You gotta believe. The Mets are losing a lot of believers now. We want to get people behind the team. We want the stadium full again. We want the stadium rocking,” Silver said.
And the goal? Stop having the Mets play second fiddle to the Yankees.
“We gotta get the fanbase back. We want the New York fans to believe again. We don’t want the Yankees to get all the publicity with all the millions of millions of dollars they’re spending,” Silver said.
The money woes for the Wilpons come from the Madoff victims’ lawsuit that states the Mets owners were longtime and successful investors and they knew or should have known Madoff was operating a fraud.