There has been a lot of speculation that the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, lost a great deal of money due to their relationship with Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. And now the team has announced that the Wilpons will sell 20-25% of the team.
Let the Stuart Sternberg-to-buy-the-Mets speculation begin!
Why would Sternberg want to buy into the Mets? Well, first and foremost, Sternberg is a Mets fan. To this day, he still maintains Mets season tickets, which means he probably attends more Mets games every year than he does Rays games.
Also, it has now been more than three years since the Rays proposed a waterfront stadium. And despite two division titles and one trip to the World Series, the Rays may be even further away from moving into a new ballpark and solving their attendance issues.
If Sternberg was going to bail, this might be a good time. But will he?
According to the more recent team valuations by Forbes, one-fourth of the Mets is worth $228 million. The Rays entire franchise is worth $320 million. So financially, the move would be an easy one.
The downside for Sternberg is that the Wilpons say they will not give up team control. And unless they would be willing to promise Sternberg control of the Mets at some point in the future, we can’t see Sternberg making the jump.
And as Rays fans, we better hope Sternberg doesn’t get that promise.
If Sternberg did want to sell his stake in the Rays and jump on board with the Mets, the most likely buyer of the Rays would be Major League Baseball. And if MLB buys the Rays, the team’s future would more likely reside in another state (think Montreal Expos).