Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s reported interest in buying the New York Mets has reportedly taken a step forward.
The engaged couple has retained JPMorgan Chase to raise capital for a possible bid on the Mets, according to a report from Variety.
The Wilpon family’s controlling interest in the Mets have been very publicly up for grabs since the deal to sell as much as 80 percent of the team to hedge fund magnate and Mets minority owner Steve Cohen fell through.
The agreed-upon Cohen deal would have valued the club at $2.6 billion, but ultimate fell through after a reported disagreement over how long the Wilpons would retain control of the Mets following the sale. The terms of the deal reportedly dictated that the Wilpons would have stayed in the driver’s seat for five years, and there have been accusations from both sides of attempting to alter the terms.
Variety reports that no team control conditions will be attached to a potential future sale.
How much help would A-Rod and J-Lo need to buy the Mets?
The complicated part of Rodriguez and Lopez’ attempt to buy the Mets is that while the two are quite rich (Variety pegs their combined net worth at $700 million), they aren’t multi-billionaires, and that’s the only kind of person who can buy a team by themselves these days.
The Mets’ valuation in the Cohen deal easily dwarfs the pair’s net worth, so they are going to need some very big partners to follow them into this if they want to pull it off. Of course, convincing billionaires to give you a sum larger than the GDP of some countries to buy a baseball team is easier said than done.
There’s some skepticism about A-Rod coming up with the funds to buy the Mets. Referring to the $2.6B price tag, one baseball executive says: “The chances of someone giving him that kind of money are zilch.”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 21, 2020
Rodriguez grew up as a Mets fan in Miami and was previously reported in February to be interested in buying a stake in the team.
If the couple can find a partner willing to cover most of the funds needed to buy an MLB team in the country’s largest media market, they would likely assume a role similar to that of Derek Jeter with the Miami Marlins or Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That would be as the face of a deep-pocketed group.
Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets are a different case as he actually is a multi-billionaire and owned as much 97 percent of the team after buying them for relatively cheap — $275 million — before NBA team values really took off. The team is now worth an estimated $1.5 billion.
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