NY Mets Owner Steve Cohen Acquires $52B Stake in Las Vegas Sphere

NY Mets owner acquiring a 52 billion stake in the Las Vegas Sphere
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Baseballs aren’t the only round things fancied by Steve Cohen. According to Sportico, the owner of the New York Mets recently acquired a 5.5% stake in the Las Vegas Sphere. Cohen purchased 1.56 million shares of Sphere Entertainment, which includes the iconic spherical concert venue constructed for $2.3 billion by majority owner James Dolan and opened last September.

Investment Details

The new investment was revealed through a Schedule 13G filing, required for investment firms with an ownership stake exceeding 5% of a company’s total stock. Although the filing did not specify Cohen’s purchase price, 1.56 million shares of Sphere Entertainment are valued at approximately $52 billion.

Timing and Previous Investments

Cohen acquired the shares during the second quarter of this year through his Point72 Asset Management hedge fund. This marks the second time Cohen’s group has invested in the Sphere; Point72 previously owned 262,102 shares but sold them in the first quarter of 2024.

Financial Impact and Future Plans

Cohen’s substantial investment comes at a crucial time for the Sphere. Dolan is negotiating for high-profile residencies with top-tier artists such as Beyonce, Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, and the Eagles, who recently announced a 12-date residency this fall.

The Eagles will be the third residency at the Sphere, following 24 shows by Dead & Company and 40 by U2. The lucrative offer made to U2, which included 90% of ticket sales plus $10 million to finance a dedicated video production, reportedly impacted the Sphere’s financials, creating high expectations among other A-list performers.

Despite these challenges, the Sphere’s primary revenue comes from movie screenings rather than concert performances. The Darren Aronofsky sci-fi film “Postcards from Earth” grossed over $1 million in average daily ticket sales, generating $100.5 million in revenue from 257 performances during the most recent quarter.

Two additional Sphere films are reportedly in production: a documentary about U2 and a new take on “The Wizard of Oz.”

Ownership and Future Prospects

Dolan and his family continue to hold a controlling stake in Sphere Entertainment with 6.9 million shares. However, Cohen’s track record suggests he may have future ambitions for greater control. In 2012, he initially bought an 8% stake in the Mets for $40 million, and in 2020, he acquired an additional 89% of the team for $2.4 billion, one of the largest transactions in professional sports history.

Conclusion

Steve Cohen’s acquisition of a $52 billion stake in the Las Vegas Sphere signifies a significant investment in one of the most innovative entertainment venues. As the Sphere continues to attract top-tier talent and generate substantial revenue from its unique offerings, Cohen’s involvement could signal further developments and potential changes in the venue’s future. The investment underscores Cohen’s strategic interest in acquiring valuable assets and his potential long-term vision for the Las Vegas Sphere.