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Sport Mets' sale to Steve Cohen still has one hurdle to clear: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

09:55  22 october  2020
09:55  22 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Steve Cohen has not given up on buying the Mets , but sources close to the situation say he would want the team’s majority stake in cable network What remains unclear is whether the Wilpons have any interest in selling SNY or dealing with Cohen a second time. The Wilpons own 65 percent of the

A New York Mets spokesman declined to confirm the report to the Daily Mail. MLB has refused to comment on the progress of the sale , which was agreed to on September 14. Next Cohen will need approval from MLB's executive council before his bid can be voted on by the 29 other owners.

Steve Cohen certainly has the money to purchase the New York Mets, and appears to have the support of Major League Baseball owners, but there’s still a large hurdle potentially blocking his path.

It’s New York City.

While MLB owners are scheduled to vote Nov. 17 on whether to approve Cohen at their owners’ meetings in Dallas, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could torpedo Cohen’s plans before it even reaches a vote.

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In the 2006 stadium lease agreement between the Mets and New York City, there’s a provision in which the mayor can prohibit the sale of the team to a “prohibited person,’’ since Citi Field is on New York City owned park land. The lease defines a prohibited person as “any person that has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.’’

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Cohen was never charged with a crime, but in 2013 his former hedge-fund company, S.A.C. Capital Investors, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud. The company agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines in one of the largest criminal cases against a hedge fund. Cohen, in a civil suit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was prohibited from managing outside money for two years.

a train cake sitting on top of a building: A view of Citi Field, the Mets' home ballpark since 2009. © Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports A view of Citi Field, the Mets' home ballpark since 2009.

Mayor de Blasio and his office, under section 17.01 of the lease agreement, have the legal right to determine whether to approve the sale. The New York City Mayor’s office has a 30-day window, which was triggered last week, to complete their vetting process.

“The Mayor has an obligation to the people of New York City,’’ press secretary Bill Neidhardt told USA TODAY Sports, “to closely examine new leases on culturally important and incredibly valuable city-owned land.’’

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Mayor Bill de Blasio at a campaign event in September.Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times.

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If de Blasio rejects or even delays the $2.475 billion sale, the Mets’ ownership led by Fred Wilpon, would have to decide whether to simply wait, or re-open the bidding process.

The MLB ownership committee voted 7-1 on Tuesday to recommend the approval of Cohen to the Executive Council, which will then make its recommendation to the 30 clubs. Cohen must receive 23 of the 30 votes by clubs to be approved.

If Cohen’s purchase gets held up with de Blasio, it could cause further consternation among MLB owners, with several already planning to vote against his approval.

MLB owners are scheduled to make the official decision in three weeks whether to welcome Cohen into their fraternity, but if New York City rejects the Cohen sale, the call will be made for them.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mets' sale to Steve Cohen still has one hurdle to clear: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Could Blue Jays swoop in and land DJ LeMahieu in free agency? .
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usr: 4
This is interesting!