Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez’s to bid ‘hundreds of millions’ to buy New York Mets
MLB 

J-Rod are re-circling the wagons on their dream of becoming the king and queen of Queens.

Multiple sources close to the situation tell The Post that Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are now working closely with very senior bankers at JPMorgan Chase on a new bid to buy the Mets after their initial approach failed to come together earlier this month.

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According to insiders, the baseball legend and pop-star actor are putting in “hundreds of millions” of their own money to finally pry the Amazins’ free from the Wilpon family, who have become more eager than ever to unload the franchise thanks to COVID-19 making their precarious financial condition even more dire.

A strong signal of that desperation is the inclusion of SNY, the Mets’ television network, in a new deal. As The Post has reported, the Mets operate at a major loss, relying on TV revenues to bridge the gap. That makes owning the team without the network prohibitive, especially as baseball recovers from the overwhelming COVID-19 effects.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez could be team owners.Source:Getty Images

The Wilpons’ reluctance to sell any part of SNY, combined with cold feet from J-Rod’s original partner on the deal (Long Island pharma billionaire Wayne Rothbaum), initially led to a dead end. Since then, however, sources say Rodriguez and Lopez, quarantining in Miami luxury, have devoted most of their time to formulating a new bid and a long-term ownership plan for the franchise.

People close to the deal now say that the Wilpons are willing to part with enough of SNY to make a deal work but are insistent on keeping at least a slice of the network for themselves.

“Someone has shown the Wilpons the light here,” one person close to the deal said. “Some heavy hitters are getting involved here and it seems Fred and Jeff are listening.”

But even with J-Rod’s significant capital commitment and some SNY revenue, the power couple will still need help on putting an offer together. That’s where Chase comes into play.

The bank’s super high-wealth banking unit gives clients access to JPMorgan’s investment bank and wealth management units. Sources tell The Post that Rodriguez and Lopez have been in daily contact with senior members of those teams as they work to find some super-wealthy investors to partner with Rodriguez and Lopez on a bid that one insider predicts will be in the neighbourhood of “definitely less than $2 billion.”

J-Lo set to try to buy New York Mets.Source:Instagram

While no specific names have emerged regarding who will be staking J-Rod’s latest Mets bid, Chase Private Banking boasts a deep roster of billionaires with whom the bank can play matchmaker. Three people close to the situation confirm that the bank has made real progress for its clients.

“The money is there,” one said. “A bid is coming.”

Two clients whom Rodriguez and Lopez have apparently been speaking to are Patriots owners Bob and Jonathan Kraft. Sources tell The Post that the Krafts are not interested in buying a baseball team but are very intrigued by J-Rod’s plans for the Mets and Citi Field.

As The Post reported in February, Rodriguez and Lopez envision their ownership of the team as re-imagining the Mets brand and Citi Field as an entertainment venue. Sources now say that the pair has been researching how to redevelop the ballpark and the area around it to make Willets Point a place where families could spend a day before, during and after a ballgame.

In terms of Citi Field itself, the early plans include adding some seats closer to the field. J-Rod would reportedly also want to create a field-level box area for celebrity Mets fans like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Matthew Broderick in the mould of the Knicks’ “Celebrity Row.”

“With their connections, Willets could become a Wrigleyville in Queens,” one person with knowledge of J-Rod’s thinking said.

J-Lo set to try to buy New York Mets.Source:Instagram

The Krafts operated similarly around Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., building Patriot Place, an entertainment complex that contains shopping, entertainment venues, restaurants and a four-star hotel. Sources say they are intrigued by investing in something similar in Queens.

One person familiar with Major League Baseball says that a feasible J-Rod bid is intriguing, especially with Lopez making it clear that she would be an active owner of the franchise.

“She’s made it clear that this is not a vanity project for her,” the source said. “She and Alex would bring star power to a franchise in our biggest market that has been sorely lacking in both.”

This story first appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission.

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