Josh Harris and David Blitzer are “in the early stages” of compiling a bid for the Mets, Scott Soshnick of Variety reports. They join a still-amorphous A-Rod/J.Lo bidding group among known pursuers of the club.
There’s little question that Harris and Blitzer have ample experience in purchasing and running major sports franchises. The former is principal owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils. The latter also has ownership stakes in those franchises. Both are shareholders in the Premier League side Crystal Palace F.C. There’s baseball experience, too: Blitzer co-owns the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate (the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders), an interest he’d likely have to divest to swing this deal.
The pair of potential Mets owners surely aren’t looking only for a fun place to park their capital. Both acquired their bankroll through their work at famed private equity shops (Apollo Global Management and Blackstone, respectively). And they’ve made out like bandits through their other sports-related investments.
New bidders generally represent good news for the current ownership group, led by Fred and Jeff Wilpon. Then again, it seems notable that this particular slate of candidates is only just emerging. Harris and Blitzer may well smell an opportunity.
It remains hard to imagine that the Wilpons will be able to wrangle the $2B asking price they’ve reportedly placed on the franchise — unless, perhaps, they waver on their desire to hang on to the SNY network. No doubt profit-minded investors will want the television revenue opportunity to be included in the package.