The value of Mets and every other major league baseball team has increased dramatically since then, with significant growth in league and digital rights deals for the league.
Wilpons, through a different entity than the company that controls the team, owns about 65 percent of the regional SportsNet New York cable network, a cash cow built primarily on Mets TV games.
The team, on the other hand, now has the eighth highest payroll in baseball, according to SpotracWho tracks players ’contracts in major sports. Mets lost more than $ 50 million last season, according to people familiar with the team’s finances, largely due to lower attendance and about $ 50 million in annual payments on the bonds used to finance the Citi Field construction. The family is able to partially mitigate their losses with the money they earn from the television network, giving Wilpons the flexibility to allow a potential deal to sell the team to collapse.
But Fred Welbun and Scholl Katz, his son-in-law and chief of Mets, are both in their 80s. Many of their children do not trust Jeff Welbun, the team’s chief operating officer for a long time, to manage it responsibly. Real estate and tax planning are the main catalysts in the current installment of the team’s sale.
Last year, to balance the needs of children who wanted to sell with the needs of Fred and Jeff Wilson, who had long been involved in every aspect of the franchise, Welbons included an unusual clause in the stricken deal with Cohen. After the sale, Fred and Jeff Willbon will remain in their team management roles for five years.
When the two sides tried to finalize the terms, Cohen wanted assurances that he would have an impact on financial matters, prevent veto on some spending issues, and after combing through the team’s financial resources, the sale price would be lowered, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. Wellbons remained in place, and the deal collapsed.
Allen & Company, a long-standing investment bank Wilpons, is now pursuing a more standard process for screening potential bidders and will soon be allowed to review the team’s finances. Any buyer should be examined similarly by M.L.B. And pass a vote for the owners of the league.