Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez’s dream of buying the Mets has been given fresh hope after the billionaire co-founder of Vitamin Water expressed an interest in investing.
Mike Repole, who sold Glaceau, manufacturers of SmartWater and VitaminWater to Coca Cola for $4.1 billion, is in foretells join their consortium, based on reports.
Repole, 51, was born in Queens around five miles from the Mets’ stadium Citi Field.
A lifelong Mets fan and owner of champion racehorses, he expressed curiosity about buying the Mets when the team was not that far from bankruptcy in 2011.
Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are said to be pressing ahead with their dream of buying the Mets, and their hopes have now been boosted by interest from businessman Mike Repole
Fred Wilpon, the majority owner of the Mets, was alternatively bailed out by Major League Baseball and Bank of America with a $40 million emergency loan.
Wilpon, 83, and his son Jeff, 57, have experienced a stake in the team since 1980.
‘Someone indicates the Wilpons the light here,’ a person close to the deal told The New York Post.
‘Some heavy hitters are becoming involved here and this indicates Fred and Jeff are listening.’
Repole is one of two investors working with investment bank Galatioto Sports Partners, who’re considering investing up to a combined $250 million with Rodriguez and Lopez, the paper reported.
Sources suggested the deal could be done for under $2 billion.
The only known other bidders for the Mets are Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, and the British soccer team Crystal Palace.
The sale, at this point, still does not include the profitable SNY sports network, sources told the paper.
The Wilpons have been seeking to sell the Mets since at least December.
The Mets, who play at Citi Field in Queens, New York, are owned by Fred Wilpon
Rodriguez, who spent 12 seasons with the New York Yankees, and Lopez have been rumored to be interested since February.
‘[Rodriguez] genuinely loves the Mets,’ one source said in the story.
‘He and J.Lo have mentioned him buying a team ever since Jeter got the Marlins.’
The couple have been working with JPMorgan from their lockdown in Miami and — even with taking on new investors — would nevertheless be the get a handle on owners of the team, sources said.
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 the very least a slice of the network for themselves.
Rodriguez and Lopez are said to envision their ownership of the team as re-imagining the Mets brand and Citi Field being an entertainment venue.
The pair has been researching how to redevelop the ballpark and the area around it to create Willets Point a place where families could spend a day before, throughout and after a ballgame.
The duo also want to create a field-level box area for celebrity Mets fans like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Matthew Broderick, in the mold of the Knicks’ ‘Celebrity Row.’
J-Lo and A-Rod are reportedly keen to develop the area around Citi Field
New Jersey Devils owners David Blitzer (left) and Joshua Harris are also thinking about the team
‘She’s made it clear that this isn’t a vanity project for her,’ a source told the Post.
‘She and Alex would bring star power to a franchise within our biggest market that has been sorely lacking in both.’
In 2018 Rodriguez said that he regretted maybe not signing for the Mets when he’d the chance, during the 2000-1 off-season.
‘I thought I’d make great concessions to go play for the Mets,’ that he said, noting that Keith Hernandez was his favorite player growing up.
‘I thought it was a great story for baseball.’
Instead, that he signed the biggest deal in baseball history at the time: a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers.
The Rangers move ended badly, and he was traded in 2004 to the Yankees, where he spent the final 12 years of his career, moving up to third base alongside Derek Jeter.