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Mets Owner Builds Side Business Advising on Stadium Real Estate

  • Team’s COO Jeff Wilpon uses sports connections to win projects
  • Franchises are looking to development to help boost revenue
Sterling Project Development was hired to help build a sports campus for the New York Islanders at Belmont Park
Sterling Project Development was hired to help build a sports campus for the New York Islanders at Belmont Park

New York Mets fans complain the team’s owners don’t spend enough on expensive free agents. In Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon’s other business, clients appreciate a frugal streak.

For the last decade, Wilpon’s been running Sterling Project Development, charging a fee to develop stadiums, arenas and other complex projects. Wilpon says he’s leveraged his relationships in sports and reputation for delivering projects under budget to win business from the Green Bay Packers, New York Islanders and other pro franchises.

Wilpon, 58, may soon have more time to devote to the real estate business, which he manages with childhood friend Richard Browne. The owners of the Mets, led by Jeff’s father Fred, are in talks to sell up to 80% of the franchise to billionaire investor Steven Cohen in a deal that could see the family relinquish control of the team over the course of five years.