Sources: Mets Secure $250M Loan Refinancing, Likely To Close In February
Mets co-Owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz "appear to be on the verge of finally putting the team’s financial problems behind them," according to Josh Kosman of the N.Y. POST. Sources said that Wilpon and Katz, who "faced perhaps an insurmountable spring principal payment on their $250 million loan, are close to refinancing the note." One source said that the "re-fi -- the biggest off-field hurdle the team faced this off-season -- will likely close in February or March." Kosman notes until recently, it "wasn’t certain investors weren’t going to insist the team owners pay down some of the loan to get the refinancing done." Sources said that Wilpon and Katz "will not be asked for any cash paydown," and added that the "seven-year re-fi will give Wilpon and Katz much-desired financial breathing room." One source said that there is "a bit of a silver-lining for critics of Wilpon and Katz: There are no payroll limits written into the re-worked loan." Mets sources believe that payroll "will increase slowly in coming years, but probably won’t get back to 2010’s $140 million level anytime soon" (N.Y. POST, 1/31). ESPN N.Y.'s Adam Rubin noted the Mets' current payroll is about $87M for '14, "well below what is customary in a large market" like N.Y. (ESPNNY.com, 1/30).
DIAMOND EYES: ESPN N.Y.'s Katie Strang cites a Mets source as saying that the team "has had discussions" with the NHL about the possibility of hosting an outdoor game at Citi Field. The source said, "We did have discussions with the NHL and are always open to revisiting them down the road." Strang noted with the "success of the two Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium recently, it's hard to imagine the Mets wouldn't want to bring an event of that magnitude to the Queens-based ballpark" (ESPNNY.com, 1/30).