Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are working with potential investors on a bid for the New York Mets that would also include a share of the SNY cable network, with the ultimate goal a development plan for the area surrounding and adjacent to Citi Field.
When Steve Cohen walked away from his $2.6-million bid for the Mets after a) he figured out he was overpaying for the franchise and b) buying the team and then letting the Wilpons run the franchise for an additional five years would be no fun and the source of many potential headaches, former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez stepped up and expressed interest in buying the team with wife Jennifer Lopez. But that interest never went far, as the asking price of $2-billion-plus was deemed to be too high.
But Rodriguez and Lopez are back, and this time the pair are working with JP Morgan Chase on a financial game plan to buy the Mets and a share of SNY, with the ultimate goal of a development in the Willets Field area adjoining Citi Field. Development was also a goal for the Wilpon family, and while the family has embarked on some development investments (most notably as part of a new Belmont area that will serve a home of the NHL’s New York Islanders), but they never could come up with a plan for the Citi Field area. And the potential partners on ballpark area redevelopment? Bob and Jonathan Kraft. Yes, the Krafts who own the NFL’s New England Patriots. From the New York Post:
Rodriguez and Lopez envision their ownership of the team as re-imagining the Mets brand and Citi Field as an entertainment venue. Sources now say that the pair has been researching how to redevelop the ballpark and the area around it to make Willets Point a place where families could spend a day before, during and after a ballgame.
In terms of Citi Field itself, the early plans include adding some seats closer to the field. J-Rod would reportedly also want to create a field-level box area for celebrity Mets fans like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Matthew Broderick in the mold of the Knicks’ “Celebrity Row.”
“With their connections, Willets could become a Wrigleyville in Queens,” one person with knowledge of J-Rod’s thinking said.
The Krafts would not be investors in the Mets. Rodriguez and Lopez are rich, but not baseball owner rich, and even if the Mets sale price ends up south of $2 billion, it will likely take at least one billionaire in the ownership group to make this deal work.
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