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Friday, January 4, 2013
Mets items: $700M+ loan?; MLS at Citi?

By Adam Rubin

A day after a report that Mets owners had refinanced loan obligations, Bloomberg reports the amount borrowed totals at least $700 million as part of the refinancing. Reporter Scott Soshnick writes:

The financing will be used to replace existing credit lines and provide additional funds to the parents of the Major League Baseball team, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public. A spokeswoman for the Mets, Danielle Parillo, declined to comment. The financing comes after Standard & Poor’s cut the ratings of the debt used to finance a stadium in Queens, New York, where the team plays. S&P lowered the grade of Queens Ballpark Company LLC by one level to BB on Dec. 21.

• The Daily News reports Mets owners would like to see an expansion Major League Soccer team play at Citi Field. However, a league spokesman said MLS is uninterested in that plan. The league has been pursuing a new stadium at nearby Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, although there has been some opposition from groups against using parkland for the project.

The rekindled Cosmos, currently set to begin playing in the NASL at Hofstra in the fall, would be a strong candidate to move up to MLS and play in any Queens stadium.

“An MLS team at Citi Field is a nonstarter for us,” MLS spokesperson Rita Heller told the newspaper. “A soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a win for soccer fans, a win for the Queens community and a win for economic development.”