Capital Markets

Bonds — No, Not That Bonds — in the Field for Mets, Yanks

Financing is completed for Mets' Citi Field at 6.45 percent, while the Yankees have a 7-percent rate for the latest slice of their Bronx park.
Stephen TaubJanuary 29, 2009

Just two weeks before pitchers and catchers report for “spring” training, the New York Mets and New York Yankees completed the financing for their new ball parks. If you’re keeping score, the average interest rate for the Mets Citi Field issue was 6.45 percent, while the latest rate applying to the new Yankee stadium issue was 7 percent.

Baseball’s National League Mets — through Queens Ballpark Co. — sold $82.28 million in tax-free bonds of up to 37 years at an average interest rate of 6.45 percent. The bonds were rated Baa3 by Moody’s and BBB by Standard and Poor’s, according to an Associated Press report.

For the $800-million Mets ball park, which resembles the old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, $613 million for in 40-year notes were sold at a last yield of 4.57 percent. The 42,000-seat Citi Field is scheduled to open with an exhibition game on April 3.

“The overwhelmingly positive response to today’s bond offering reinforces the strength and market confidence in our new ballpark project and Citi’s strategic approach in bringing the bonds to market,” said Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.

One day earlier, the American League Yankees, with its park costing $1.5 billion, sold $259 million in bonds through Goldman Sachs, according to the wire service. The $192 million slice that matures in 40 years had an average interest rate of 7 percent. The Yankees bonds were rated Baa3 by Moody’s and BBB- by Standard & Poor’s. The AP said that in 2006, the Yankees sold $942 million in bonds at an average interest rate of 4.7 percent.