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Monday, July 15, 2024

Mets Owner Buys Chunk of Knicks Owner’s Las Vegas Sphere

  • Cohen now owns 5.5% of the Sphere's parent company.
  • James Dolan, another New York sports owner, opened the Sphere last year.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It must be the blue and orange.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen recently revealed a 5.5% share in New York Knicks owner James Dolan’s Sphere in Las Vegas, Sportico reported.

Cohen made the investment through his hedge fund, Point72, the fund he opened in 2014 after his original company, SAC Capital, closed after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges and paid a billion-dollar fine in the case.

The spectacular Sphere cost $2.3 billion to build and opened in late 2023, instantly attracting interest from the biggest players in sports. It’s set to host its first live sporting event on Friday with the NHL draft. A UFC event is coming later this year.

It’s not clear what price Cohen’s shares in Sphere Entertainment, the venue’s parent company, were purchased for, but The Sphere generated $170 million in revenue last quarter.

Cohen had previously owned a much smaller stake in the live entertainment venue, according to Sportico, but had sold it earlier this year.

Dolan and Cohen are both heavy hitters in local New York politics. Cohen has thrown his deca-billionaire weight behind an ambitious and possibly doomed casino project in the area surrounding Citi Field in Queens. Dolan—who inherited his family’s cable and entertainment empire and thus the Knicks and Rangers—has backed conservatives as local elected officials threaten to strip the tax break that New York state has gifted Madison Square Garden for years.

Cohen, who had long coveted baseball ownership, burst onto the national sports scene when he finally bought the Mets for $2.4 billion in 2020. Despite heavy investment in payroll, the Cohen-era Mets have mostly struggled on the field, only finishing better than .500 once in his first three years in charge.

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