Report: Mets Sale Efforts Continuing Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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Despite the coronavirus pandemic halting almost all of the sports world—and world at-large—the New York Mets are still up for sale. 

According to The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan, "sports investment bankers say that the team’s adviser, Allen & Co., is still calling around trying to drum up business." 

The team additionally told The Athletic that its Feb. 10 statement is intact.

“Nothing further than the original statement we put out from Jeff a while back,” a team spokesman wrote in an email to The Athletic on if anything has changed.

On Feb. 10, the team announced that despite a previously possible transaction with current minority owner Steve Cohen collapsing, the club "still intends to pursue a new transaction."

The Wilpons were said to have a $2.6 billion valuation of the team. But as The Athletic notes, a possible sale of the club amid the global pandemic could lead to a discounted price for the club. 

In recent years, the Mets’ spending has been limited, following Bernie Madoff’s arrest in December 2008 for running a Ponzi scheme. 

At the time of Madoff's arrest, Wilpon and partner Saul Katz had around $500 million invested with the former financial advisor. The Mets owners also settled a lawsuit, based on prior gains from Madoff, forfeiting another $162 million. The fallout meant slashing the team's payroll in half before the 2011 season. 

The Wilpon family has owned a majority stake in the team since 1986 and have had full control of the team since 2002.

If the Mets do sell in the coming weeks and months, it will likely be sold amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Currently, per The New York Times, health experts advise giving current business closures and social distancing a month to slow the pandemic, which would allow medical facilities time to roll out mass testing and equip doctors with protective equipment. The spread of the virus, however, is expected to continue well past that. 

As of Friday night, there are more than 577,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the world, causing more than 26,000 deaths. There are more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States.