J-Rod have competition in their pursuit of the New York Mets. Billionaire sports owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer have entered the race.
According to Scott Soshnick of Variety, the newest potential buyers for the New York Mets are Josh Harris and David Blitzer. Harris made his money Apollo Global Management, an investment firm. His partner David Blitzer earned his money as an executive at Blackstone, an equity firm.
The pair already own two professional sports teams. They first collaborated to buy the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011, the deal cost $287 million. Two years later the two hooked up again to purchase the New Jersey Devils for around $320 million.
Harris has made a career of buying distressed properties and turning them around for a profit. He’s taken that same approach with the sports teams he’s bought. When he bought the 76ers in 2011, the team was unable to fill a stadium and ticket prices were plummeting. They were headed for major debt and had to sell well under their perceived value. In just nine years, Harris took the franchise from his purchase price of $287 million to a value of $2 billion.
The Devils are a similar case. The team was mired in debt and it almost felt like they would ever be sold because of the debt. Harris came in and bought the team for around $320 million and now the team is valued at $550 million.
The Mets seem to be his next target. The debt-ridden franchise is going to have to sell under their perceived value due to their debt, COVID-19, and the Wilpons unwillingness to sell all of SNY.
Harris has proven that he knows how to run a franchise the right way, turning the 76ers around and now helping the Devils turn things around—at least from a financial perspective. However, it seems he likes to completely rebuild when he takes over a franchise. That could mean he cleans house and starts over with the Mets as well.
Would Mets fans be willing to sit through a rebuild when they feel so close to a potential championship run? Would Harris even force them to rebuild? Is he willing to spend the money to win in a big market? These are all questions that need to be asked about the potential new owners.