Power couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are once again trying to buy the New York Mets. According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, A-Rod and J-Lo are working with "very senior bankers at JPMorgan Chase" to secure financing for a potential purchase.
, though talks fizzled when the Wilpons, the team's current owners, . McEnery reports the club's television network will now be included in the potential sale, indicating the Wilpons are more serious about a deal.
Here are more details:
According to insiders, the baseball legend and pop-star actress are putting in "hundreds of millions" of their own money to finally pry the Amazins' free from the Wilpon family, who have become more eager than ever to unload the franchise thanks to COVID-19 making their precarious financial condition even more dire.
A strong signal of that desperation is the inclusion of SNY, the Mets' television network, in a new deal. As The Post has reported, the Mets operate at a major loss, relying on TV revenues to bridge the gap. That makes owning the team without the network prohibitive, especially as baseball recovers from the overwhelming COVID-19 effects.
Wayne Rothbaum, the billionaire who was working with A-Rod and J-Lo, was reportedly hoping to purchase the team at a discount. The Wilpons agreed to sell the Mets to hedge fund manager Steve Cohen over the winter, though Cohen later walked away from the deal because the Wilpons insisted on retaining full decision-making privileges for five years.
During his playing career A-Rod made it no secret he would like to one day own a team., suggesting the two sides split revenue 50-50. That could get him some support among the ownership ranks. The other 29 owners will of course have to approve any franchise sale.
The Wilpons purchased full control of the Mets in 2002 and they've walked a financial tight rope since getting caught up in Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme. They settled the lawsuit for $162 million in 2012, though the settlement has since been reduced to roughly $60 million as funds have been recovered.