Five-time Pro Bowler. Two-time All-Pro. Super Bowl champion. Professional sports owner?
According to a story from ESPN staff writer Vaughn McClure on Monday afternoon, the Chiefs’ tight end is among a notable group of sports stars, both past and present, joining forces to bid on the rights to own one of Major League Baseball’s most popular franchises — the New York Mets.
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Joining the group led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, Kelce is also accompanied by NFL Hall of Famer and ex-Chicago Bears LB Brian Urlacher, recently retired Cleveland Browns All-Pro OT Joe Thomas and 2014 NFL Offensive Player of the Year and former Dallas Cowboys RB Demarco Murray, per McClure.
The group has already submitted its initial bid of $1.7 billion. Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen has made a top bid so far of $2 billion, according to a report by the New York Post. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon would prefer to sell to the Rodriguez-Lopez group if its offer is close to the best bid at the end of the auction, according to the Post.
From Childhood Hero to Business Partner?
Like so many 80s and 90s kids, Kelce grew up around the game of baseball and idolized Rodriguez as one of the era’s most dominant players. While Kelce’s childhood team, the Cleveland Indians, are not for sale, the 30-year-old isn’t shying away from a chance to join the elite club that is professional sports ownership, albeit a potential minority stake at this time.
“This is a crazy opportunity,” Kelce told ESPN. “I had a chance to meet Alex Rodriguez a couple years ago and just told him how much of a fan I was as a kid of him. I’m very thankful for the success that I’ve had in the NFL, to have an opportunity like this come across the table. I couldn’t think of a more unique set of people to be in charge of this.”
“Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are a star-studded couple that have gotten to where they are because they work their tails off,” continued Kelce. “And they’re good human beings. I thank them for letting me be a part of this.”
The Mets ranked sixth overall on Forbes’ most recent list of most valuable MLB franchises, valued at $2.4 billion — or just less than half of their No. 1 ranked cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees ($5 billion).