Saturday, April 02, 2011

Things are getting tight financially, Mets want a deal fast


NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  (L - R) Saul Katz, CEO...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Mets owner Fred Wilpon wants to select a minority-share partner by the end of this month, two people with knowledge of the talks said Friday.

There is a sense of urgency about the timetable because the team has mounting financial obligations, starting in June when a payment estimated at $21 million is due on the bonds that financed Citi Field, according to the New York City Industrial Development Agency's most recent audited financial report.

In addition, the Mets took out a $25 million loan from Major League Baseball last November because the team had used up its $75 million line of credit. Forbes magazine has reported the Mets have $450 million in debt.

Money from the partial sale -- estimated at $200 million -- will be earmarked to finance the team's day-to-day operations and to pay down debt, said a person familiar with the sale discussions.

The Mets also must now begin paying salaries to players, who are not paid during the offseason or spring training. The Mets have a 2011 payroll in the vicinity of $140 million, which averages to around $11.6 million doled out every two weeks.

Video: About Potential Buyers

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