clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Remember that time Donald Trump tried to buy the New York Mets?

Before he sought the White House, Donald Trump had another big target in mind: A controlling interest in the New York Mets.

Donald Trump attends opening day at Citi Field in 2012.
Donald Trump attends opening day at Citi Field in 2012.
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, you're probably well aware that Donald Trump is running for President. This post isn't about today's news, though; it's about five years ago. Specifically, it's about that time that Donald Trump tried to buy the Mets.

Yes, before the White House run, before the controversies and the debates, back in the early months of 2011, Donald Trump was making an apparently serious play for the Mets. No less than the New York Times covered Trump's pursuit of the team.

In 2011 the Wilpons were in the midst of a lawsuit over their Bernie Madoff earnings, and were searching for investors to buy a large minority stake in the team to help prop up their finances. One of the investors they approached was Trump.

Trump, who's been seen at both Yankees and Mets games over the years, was a known fan of the team, and was even caught on the "kiss cam" during the 2006 playoffs at Shea. He was also a Queens native, and a former team owner in the USFL, which made him a prime target for minority ownership.

The problem was, Trump wasn't interested in a minority stake in the Mets, he wanted full control, and the Wilpons weren't willing to give that.

Even if the Wilpons had been willing to sell a majority stake in the team, there were questions about whether Trump would be eligible to buy it. MLB doesn't allow its owners to own casinos, which would have been a problem for Trump.

For what it's worth, Trump's pursuit of the Mets was quite popular at the time. Amazin' Avenue ran a poll asking readers whether they'd prefer Trump or the Wilpons as owner. Trump won with 63% of the vote, though that may say as much about the Wilpons as it does about Trump.

Would Trump have given up his interest in his casinos to have owned the Mets? We'll never know. We can only think about what might have been in a world where Donald Trump was the owner of your New York Mets, and not the leading Republican candidate for President of the United States.