Madoff's Mets opener seats at $3,300
NEW YORK -- Bernard Madoff's seats at Citi Field are fetching quite a price.
The two tickets for Monday night's ballpark opener owned by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities were bid up to $3,300 by 10:50 p.m. EDT Saturday on eBay.
Seats 5-6 in the eighth row of section 11, just to the home plate side of the New York Mets' dugout, are being sold by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff's businesses.
Fifty bids had been made for the tickets, which are called Delta Club Gold and come with access to the Delta Club behind home plate. The tickets retail for $525 apiece, and there is a deadline of 9:56 a.m. EDT Sunday to bid for the seats.
Lawyer Irving H. Picard worked out a deal with the Mets, returning to the team two $695 seats in the second row, called Delta Club Platinum, in exchange for the pair being sold on eBay. Links for other tickets for the first homestand were posted Friday on Picard's Web site, www.madofftrustee.com.
Two tickets for each of the remaining games against the Padres, on April 15-16, and for the three-game series against Milwaukee from April 17-19 were put on sale on StubHub.com. Those tickets are selling for $450 each.
Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz were close to Madoff, who pleaded guilty March 12 in federal court to 11 counts, including securities fraud and perjury, stemming from a Ponzi scheme prosecutors said was worth $64.8 billion. The 70-year-old Madoff faces up to 150 years in prison at sentencing June 16.
Wilpon, Katz and many entities of their company, Sterling Equities, and various affiliated foundations are among the swindled creditors.
According to a motion filed with the bankruptcy court, Madoff's firm bought two Delta Club Platinum ticket -- section 16, row 2, seats 5-6 -- for $80,190. Those tickets are worth $295-$695 per game, depending on the opponent and day of the week, and average $495 -- the top price in the ballpark.
The Mets agreed to exchange them for the Delta Club Gold Seats, which are worth $60,750, a range of $225-$525 per game and an average of $375. The team will refund the $19,440 difference between the face values.
If the court approves, April seats would be sold for individual games and the rest as a package. The trustee felt the less expensive Delta Gold seats were "more marketable" and gained renewal rights for the purchaser of the bulk of the season plan.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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