New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is well known for his unprecedented spending on players and league-leading personal wealth. But he’s also managing to save the club significant sums of money.
Cohen’s Mets — who fielded a MLB-record $344 million payroll this year, and led by his estimated $19.8 billion net worth — are reaping major benefits from a 2021 refinancing of bonds funding the construction of 14-year-old Citi Field, which was publicly owned and now also owned by Cohen.
The refinancing infused $50 million into the balance sheet for the stadium bonds. It also lowered interest rates from a prior range of 4.3-6.5% to a new one of 2-5%, reducing annual payments and yielding more than $200 million in total savings between now and 2046.
“New ownership immediately and continually invests in the on-field team product with one of the highest payrolls in MLB,” Moody’s Investor Service wrote in a report giving the Mets’ stadium bonds a stable outlook. “This willingness to support the team, and the ballpark if needed, is expected to continue.”
That investment in the ballpark and the area surrounding Citi Field continues to be one of the key focal points for Cohen and the Mets. Following a dismantling of the roster at this past season’s trade deadline, Cohen pledged a heightened focus on the Citi Field experience for the 2024 season.
More recently, Cohen has been public about his desire to build a casino in the oft-criticized Queens neighborhood adjacent to Citi Field, an effort that would be new for a major league ballpark setting.