FRANKLYWNOW - B-Mets ownership acknowledges future plans to sell team

B-Mets ownership acknowledges future plans to sell team

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While B-Mets President Mike Urda continues to promise that the B-Mets and Double-A Eastern League Baseball will remain in Binghamton, in a new statement released Friday afternoon, Urda acknowledged plans to sell the team:

"As I made clear on Thursday, our primary objective has been, and will continue to be, offering Binghamton Mets baseball to our community for years to come.
The members of this ownership group, myself included, have reached the age when retirement is a reality. It is our goal to transfer ownership of this organization to someone that will keep the tradition of Double-A Eastern League baseball alive in the Southern Tier; a tradition we have built over the last 21 years.
Once this lawsuit is resolved we will proceed with our future plans to ensure that the Binghamton Mets and Double-A Eastern League Baseball continue in Binghamton, New York.
Since there is pending litigation, we have no further comment at this time."

Urda directed all questions to B-Mets attorney Jonathan Fellows of Bond, Schoececk, and King PLLC in Syracuse. Fox 40 placed a call to Fellows, as well as David Heller, CEO of Main Street Baseball, LLC - the company suing the B-Mets over breach of contract regarding sale of the team, and to Richard Billings of Beacon Sports Capital - said to be the broker of the sale. No calls have been returned.

In 2011 when rumors began of the B-Mets sale and subsequent move to Ottawa, Beacon Sports was said to have brokered that deal as well. Urda denied having any involvement with Beacon Sports.

This all stemming from a lawsuit filed in Federal Courts in Utica on Thursday alleging that the Urda had agreed to sell the B-Mets to Main Street Baseball with the intent of the team relocating to Wilmington, DE until Urda backed out at the last minute. The suit alleges a day after informing Heller and his partners at Main Street Baseball that they were no longer negotiating, Urda had already had another agreement with an unnamed third party.

In a statement released Thursday, Urda called the lawsuit "meritless" and that they will "vigorously defend" the lawsuit.

Last season the B-Mets renewed the lease of NYSEG Stadium with the City of Binghamton for another five years, but not contingent on the team being at the Double-A level or a New York Mets affiliate. The current four-year Player Development Contract with the New York Mets is set to expire after the 2016 season, but Urda and the lawsuit both say that an addition four-year extension through 2020 has already been promised.

The B-Mets will open the 2015 season in defense of their Eastern League Title on April 9th in Akron before returning home on April 16th.

Fox 40 will continue to update this story as more details become available.
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