NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Big money is now being bid to own a Big Apple sports franchise.
The New York Mets now have five offers to choose from.
Buying a major league team takes a lot of money, and you need to do more than just pony up a big wad of cash.
“With the Mets, it’s believed that they’re losing around $50 million a year, so someone buying the team not only needs to come up with the $2-plus billion to purchase the team, but they also need to come up with the tens of millions of dollars to operate the team in the near future,” said Chris Smith, from the Sports Business Journal.
Over the past decade valuation for pro teams have soared.
The front runner to buy the franchise is hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. He’s patched up his differences with Fred and Jeff Wilpon since his original deal to buy the Mets fell apart.
He reportedly offered $250 million more than the nearest bid.
“Does it really always come down to the financials? Is it always about who can offer the most money?” CBS2’s Steve Overmyer asked Smith.
“With some caveats, yes. It really comes down to who can come up with that money,” Smith said. “You mention team values have been skyrocketing and that means the pool of people able to buy a team is shrinking and shrinking very quickly. We’ve seen leagues introduce different mechanisms to widen the pool of potential buyers.”
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have a combined net worth of $750 million, so they’ve had to put together an investment team to submit a bid.
While Rodriguez has rehabbed his image since the end of his baseball career, the next potential owner of the Mets is a man who served the longest steroids suspension in baseball history.
“Who the owner is is a factor of the decision-making process and maybe A-Rod’s history with steroids and his reputation generally plays into that discussion, but my guess is that those concerns would be very far down the list,” Smith said.
The Mets will get sold. Whether it’s to J-Lo and A-Rod or a Wall Street billionaire, it’s expected to take months before they’ll get the keys to the franchise.