New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and family can heave a sigh of relief, at least temporarily, after they successfully negotiated a refinancing deal for their massive $250 million loan.
According to a newspaper report, the refinanced loan will not come due for seven years, freeing the cash-strapped owners from an immediate, burdensome obligation that could put their ownership of the team in peril.
Under the new terms, the interest payments will remain about the same for team owners under the new terms.
Also, they will not be required to immediately pay down any principal as part of the refinancing agreement, avoiding the type of immediate lump-sum obligation that could trip them up.
The best thing about the refinanced loan is that it does not restrict the Mets’ payroll. The original loan’s terms capped how much the Mets could spend on players.
Currently, the Mets’ payroll is about $87 million for 2014 — well below what is customary in a large market such as New York.
The Wilpon family has faced financial peril in recent years in part because they invested in swindler Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
They recently sold minority ownership shares in the club in order to pay down debt, including a loan from Major League Baseball.