David Blitzer

Sixers managing partners' offer for Mets suggests team might be available for cheap

Sixers managing partners' offer for Mets suggests team might be available for cheap

Sixers managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer have been seriously looking at purchasing the New York Mets, and it seems an offer is on the table.

Harris and Blitzer have made an offer to the Wilpon family, who are aiming to sell the team by the end of 2020, according the New York Post.

Here's what that offer looks like, per the Post:

The Post has learned that potential buyers Josh Harris and David Blitzer are offering $1.4 billion for the cash-hemorrhaging baseball club without the team’s revenue-generating TV network SNY.

Considering the Wilpons pulled out of an almost identical deal with hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen that would have made them $2.6 billion in February, the team appears to be on the market at a coronavirus discount.

Harris and Blitzer, who also own the NHL's New Jersey Devils, were first rumored to be interested in the Mets earlier this month, but are not the team's only suitors. Among the more intriguing names reportedly interested in the Mets: Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.

Forbes valued the Mets at roughly $2.4 billion this past April, the sixth-highest valuation among all Major League Baseball teams and a 4 percent increase from 2019, so that offer from Harris and Blitzer certainly would be a steep discount from (perceived) market value.

The Phillies ranked eighth on Forbes' valuation list at $2 billion, with the Nationals (10th, $1.9 billion), Braves (12th, $1.8 billion), and Marlins (30th, $980 million) rounding out the NL East.

When Fred Wilpon bought sole ownership of the Mets in 2002, the transaction valued the team at $391 million.

This, of course, would be just the latest sports team acquired by Harris and Blitzer.

The duo purchased the Sixers for roughly $280 million in 2011, and the team is now valued at roughly $2 billion by Forbes. They then purchased the Devils in 2013 for roughly $320 million, and the team is currently valued at $550 million by Forbes.

More recently, the duo purchased a minority stake in the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, a transaction in the neighborhood of $140 million, according to Bloomberg.

Buying sports teams: what an idea.

Harris, the co-founder and senior managing director of Apollo Global Management, has a real-time net worth of $4.9 billion, according to Forbes . He received pushback in March for a plan to institute salary reductions of up to 20 percent for full-time, salaried Sixers employees making at least $50,000, then reversed course and apologized.

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Sixers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer have stake in Steelers

Sixers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer have stake in Steelers

Updated: 12:45 p.m. 

Sixers managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer bought a stake of “less than 5%” in the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this year, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker. The Steelers confirmed Monday to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Harris and Blitzer are minority owners. 

Harris and Blitzer purchased the Sixers in 2011 and bought the New Jersey Devils in 2013. According to a report from Scott Soshnick for Variety last week, the pair are also “among the suitors” for the New York Mets. If they do ultimately buy the Mets, Harris and Blitzer would apparently have a stake in a team in each of the four major American professional sports. Additionally, the two have a stake in English Premier League club Crystal Palace. 

Their stake in the Steelers is not a stunning revelation in the context of this demonstrated willingness to invest across sports. 

Per Schatzker, Harris and Blitzer are “passive investors” with “no input on operations,” and their stake is not part of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.

The Sixers, who are projected to pay the luxury tax this upcoming season because of expensive long-term commitments to Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Al Horford and Tobias Harris, are currently valued by Forbes at $2 billion. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that NBPA leadership indicated on a call with players Friday night that “it is believed no fans will be permitted into games for the entire 2020-21 season," which would clearly have a significant financial impact.  

Harris, the co-founder and senior managing director of Apollo Global Management, has a real-time net worth of $4.9 billion, according to Forbes. He received pushback in March for a plan to institute salary reductions of up to 20 percent for full-time, salaried Sixers employees making at least $50,000, then reversed course and apologized. 

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Sixers' Josh Harris and David Blitzer interested in purchasing Mets: report

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Sixers' Josh Harris and David Blitzer interested in purchasing Mets: report

Sixers managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer hold identical titles with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Now, the two are reportedly interested in purchasing a third professional sports team.

According to a report from Scott Soshnick in Variety, Harris and Blitzer are “among the suitors” for the New York Mets. “Talks are still in the early stages,” Soshnick reports, with Harris and Blitzer not the only party interested. 

Harris’ purchase of the Sixers has been a fruitful one. A group led by Harris, the co-founder of Apollo Global Management, bought the team in 2011 for approximately $287 million. A Forbes valuation in February placed the Sixers' current value at $2 billion. 

The Mets might present a similar opportunity for growth. Soshnick writes that the franchise loses at least $50 million per year, not accounting for losses related to the delay of this MLB season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The team performed better than expected on the field last year, finishing 86-76, and has young, marketable talent in Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard. 

The Sixers have committed to long-term contracts for Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Al Horford, which leaves them projected to pay the luxury tax for the upcoming season. 

It’s unclear how steep the tax will be, but it will likely be higher than originally anticipated because of revenue losses related to the coronavirus. The league’s owners and the National Basketball Players Association have approved a 22-team plan to resume the season at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, without fans in attendance. 

In March, Harris received strong negative feedback about planned employee salary reductions. He reserved course on that decision and apologized. 

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