The New York Mets are going through a tough time right now. The fans are restless and would love nothing more then the Wilpons to sell the team. Fred Wilpon came out on Monday and had some things to say. He was pretty adamant about not selling the team for those who are looking for them to sell. He was trying to be funny, he said he was ok to the media and then proceeded to take out a wad of five dollar bills and with a smirk say “I’ve got fives.” It was a rare public appearance and it lasted around 20 minutes.
The Mets plan on selling 10 stakes with each being valued at 20 million. It is worth a four percent interest. Wilpon said that the money from the investors who have agreed to take the first seven stakes will remain in escrow until the remaining three are sold. He said four of the stakes will be purchased by SNY which is the regional television network which is co-owned by the Mets. He described the rest of the investors as a mix of people close to his family and outsiders.
Wilpon said it will be better for the organization because they will pay off a lot of debt. They owe MLB 25 million and Bank Of America a 40 million dollar bridge loan. Wilpon has owned at least a share of the Mets since 1980. He said “Fans shouldn’t be concerned about us owning the franchise, because we intend to own the franchise for a very long time. Whether they are happy about that right now or not, I don’t know.”
Wilpon and Saul Katz his brother-in-law who has a stake in the team are still facing a 386 million dollar lawsuit. It is by a trustee representing the victims of the Bernie Madoff fraud. Wilpon said “I know things will become a lot clearer in the next months.” The Mets are expected to field a payroll of about 90 million to start the season this year. They will be playing with very low expectations. It was because of failing revenue in recent years and not because of Madoff Wilpon claimed. Wilpon claimed he had one of the top five payrolls for the last number of years and wasn’t seeing much for it. It remains to be seen what happens, I personally don’t think they can own this team for too much longer. They also shouldn’t because it would be for the best if they sell but it doesn’t look like that will happen unless they lose the lawsuit and that is unlikely.