Moody’s Investors Service revised its outlook on bonds that financed the Mets’ stadium in Queens, N.Y., to negative last week, citing pending litigation.
The trustee representing victims of imprisoned swindler Bernard Madoff is seeking $1 billion from Mets owners Sterling Equities LP, Fred Wilpon, and Saul Katz, alleging they profited from their investments despite warnings of the fraud. Last week, a U.S. bankruptcy judge appointed former Gov. Mario Cuomo to mediate between the parties.
The New York City Industrial Development Agency sold $629.6 million of tax-exempt bonds secured by payments in lieu of taxes and $65.5 million of taxable bonds in 2006 and 2009 on behalf of Queens Ballpark Co. to fund construction of Citi Field, which replaced Shea Stadium. Moody’s rates the bonds Ba1.
“The change in rating outlook reflects the potential for pending litigation against the owners of the New York Mets ... to negatively impact the quality and performance of the New York Mets baseball team and subsequently to negatively affect attendance levels at the ballpark,” Moody’s said in a release.