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Mets Debts: current and future estimates

The best bullet point breakdown of what the New York Mets baseball team owners may owe — on top of the $300  demanded by the Madoff trustee suing them — that I’ve read so far comes from MLB Trade Rumors. It’s a complicated mess with lots of moving pieces and they do a nice job.

Key takeaway: the Madoff trustee Irving Picard is suing for $300 million in fictitious profits from Mets owners Fred Wilpon and his business partners Saul Katz et al. In addition, Picard seeks an unspecificied amount beyond that (the New York Times reports a trustee lawyer saying it “could reach beyond $1 billion”) alleging they should have known or suspected Madoff’s scheme.

Current debt breakdown of Mets business operations comes to us via Josh Kosman of the NY Post. Turns out the organization is heavily leveraged, in part from using Madoff investments as collateral. Thanks Josh, great work. “Wilpon’s Mets empire has three components: the team, Citi Field and SportsNet NY, the broadcasting arm. Here’s a glance”….

The Mets

Owes: $430M in debt

Pays: $30M a year in interest

Citi Field

Owes: $700M for construction

Pays: $50M a year to city

SportsNet NY (broadcast arm)

Owes: $450M in loans

Pays: $20M in interest

Profits: $100M a year; Wilpon gets $65M

Total debt = $1.58 Billion (assuming Wilpon’s exposure in lawsuits ranges from $300M to $1B)

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