Bill Maher a minority owner of Mets

HBO photo of Mets minority owner Bill Maher.

HBO photo of Mets minority owner Bill Maher. (Credit: HBO/Alberto Tolot)

Bill Maher, the comedian and HBO host, revealed last night at Citi Field that he is a minority owner of the Mets.

The New York native and lifelong Mets fan was a guest of team chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon on the field before last night's game against the Cardinals. It is not unusual for a celebrity to be on the field, but Maher wasn't just visiting -- he was checking out his investment firsthand.

Maher, 56, is the host of HBO's politically charged "Real Time With Bill Maher" as well as a stand-up comedian.

"I think it's a great investment," said Maher, who was wearing a black Mets cap. "It happened months ago. It's the first time I've been in New York since then."

Maher would not say how much he invested.

"I can't talk about that," he said. "That's for the lawyers. I just met [owner] Fred [Wilpon] for the first time . . . I've been a Mets fan my whole life. I vaguely remember their first year. I vividly remember '69. The Bill Buckner game in '86, I was at The Improv in L.A. with Jerry Seinfeld watching on TV at the bar."

Seinfeld, another famous Mets fan/comedian, is not believed to have made an investment in the team.

"Why he didn't, I have no idea," Maher said. "He's sure got more money than I do."

Maher, who is known for his acerbic wit and willingness to tackle controversial topics, said he will be a truly silent partner with the Mets. "I have enough stress in my real job," he said. "I don't need to worry about this."

A Mets spokesman confirmed that Maher is a minority investor in the club.

The Mets announced in March that they had completed the sale of 12 minority stakes in the team for $240 million. The team had not before publicly revealed the names of the investors, although three have been identified in news reports. They are Steve Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital Advisors; Bob Pittman, a media executive; and Kenneth Lerer, a venture capitalist.

The influx of cash allowed the Mets to pay back a $25-million loan to Major League Baseball and a $40-million loan to Bank of America, and also provided operating capital.

On Thursday, a federal judge signed off on the team's settlement with the trustee in the Bernard Madoff case.

Under the terms of the agreement approved by Judge Jed Rakoff, trustee Irving Picard agreed to drop his $303 million lawsuit against Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and their partners in Sterling Equities in exchange for their paying back $162 million in profits received through Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Picard also agreed to accept claims by the Sterling partners for $177 million in losses in the scam.

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