Posts Tagged ‘Team Sale’

Billionaire sports businessman David Blitzer has officially joined the Cleveland Guardians as a minority owner and will eventually take control of the ballclub.

The team announced its agreement with Blitzer and his investment group on Monday, the final step in him taking a minority stake in the American League team.

Owner Paul Dolan had been looking for a minority investor for several years and ended his search with Blitzer, who also has ownership stakes in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

“I am very excited about bringing on David Blitzer and his group as our partners,” Dolan said. ”David brings a wealth of experience in the sports industry that we believe will be a complementary addition to our organization.

“I look forward to collaborating with David for years to come to achieve our goal of winning a World Series.”

Major League Baseball approved Blitzer’s purchase earlier this month. In addition to the Sixers and Devils, the 52-year-old Blitzer also has sports holdings with soccer clubs Crystal Palace and Real Salt Lake.

“I am thrilled to join the ownership group of the Cleveland Guardians, a storied Major League Baseball franchise with a loyal, engaged fanbase,” Blitzer said. “Our goal is to support Paul and the incredibly talented Guardians leadership team in delivering to Cleveland a team that can contend for a World Series.

“We also look forward to assisting the Guardians in their mission of using the platform of baseball to drive positive change in the communities our team serves. I thank Paul and the Dolan family, as well as our partners in this investment, for this amazing opportunity.”

It’s believed Blitzer initially will have 25-30% ownership and will have the right to increase his stake to a controlling interest in several years.

Blitzer’s addition should give the Guardians an infusion of capital to perhaps be more aggressive in free agency and in signing some of their younger players.

Despite having one of baseball’s lowest payrolls, the Guardians are just two games out of first place in the AL Central. They open a five-game series against first-place Minnesota on Monday.

The Denver Broncos and the Walton-Penner family have entered into a purchase and sale agreement, the team announced Tuesday.

The agreement, which is subject to approval from the NFL’s finance committee and league ownership, calls for the Walton-Penner family to acquire the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust.

“I have enjoyed getting to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner throughout this process,” Broncos president Joe Ellis said in a statement. “Learning more about their background and vision for the Denver Broncos, I am confident that their leadership and support will help this team achieve great things on and off the field.”

Ellis added: “While this purchase and sale agreement is pending approval from the NFL’s finance committee and league ownership, today marks a significant step on the path to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history.”

The sale price is $4.65 billion, which will set a new U.S. sports-franchise record, reports Mike Klis of 9News.

Denver is the first NFL franchise to be sold since David Tepper acquired the Carolina Panthers for $2.27 billion in 2018.

The Broncos officially went up for sale Feb. 1. Pat Bowlen purchased the franchise in 1984 and helped it win three Super Bowl titles. His family controlled the team after he died in 2019 from complications due to Alzheimer’s.

“We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos,” Rob Walton said in a statement. “Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans.”

Walton added, “We look forward to earning the confidence and support of the NFL as we take the next step in this process.”

At least 24 yes votes from owners are required for the agreement to be approved, according to ESPN.

Rob, the son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, served as chairman of the retail company for more than two decades after his father died in 1992. Rob’s cousin Ann is married to Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, according to Sports Illustrated’s Luke Patterson.

The Broncos already kicked off a new era this year after acquiring quarterback Russell Wilson in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Denver general manager George Paton also hired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett this year.

The Paul G. Allen Trust declined a bid from Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky to purchase the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“An offer was made by Phil Knight. The team remains not for sale,” the Blazers said.

Knight and Smolinsky made a $2-billion bid for the Blazers, reports Wojnarowski. The pair is reportedly expected to continue pursuing the acquisition of the club.

The trust has overseen ownership of the Blazers since Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, died in 2018.

Knight is a Portland native, and his involvement indicates a desire to keep the team in his hometown rather than relocate it, Wojnarowski reports.

The most recent team slated to change ownership was the Blazers’ division rival, the Minnesota Timberwolves. Entrepreneur Marc Lore and retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez dealt the first increment of the $1.5-billion deal to current owner Glen Taylor in 2021, with the transfer of controlling ownership expected to be completed by 2023.

Knight is looking to acquire his first professional sports team. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame in 2012 for growing and marketing the game of basketball globally thanks to significant financial support through Nike.

The Dallas Cowboys are worth an estimated $6.5 billion, but Jerry Jones is confident he could get much more than that if he were to sell the team.

Jones, who purchased the Cowboys for $150 million in 1989, recently told NBC Sports’ Peter King he believes he’d get “more than $10 billion” if he put the team up for sale. However, he has no intention of ever doing that.

“But let me make this very clear,” the Cowboys owner said. “I’ll say it definitively. I will never do it. I will never sell the Cowboys. Ever.”

Forbes ranked the Cowboys as the NFL’s most valuable franchise at $6.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 14% from the previous year. The New England Patriots were the second most valuable at $5 billion, followed by the New York Giants at $4.85 billion.

Jones’ comments were sparked by the upcoming sale of the Denver Broncos, whom Forbes estimated were worth $3.75 billion last year. Reports have suggested the Broncos could fetch anywhere from $4 billion to upward of $5 billion, which would be the most expensive team sale in U.S. sports history.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Ottawa Senators are not looking for a new ownership group in the wake of Eugene Melnyk’s death.

“The franchise is being professionally run,” Bettman said Friday night, according to the Canadian Press’ Joshua Clipperton. “The club’s not on the market. There’s no urgency. The club’s not unstable.

“There are no problems.”

Melnyk died March 28 at 62 years old after dealing with an undisclosed illness. He helped the Senators franchise escape bankruptcy when he bought it in 2003.

Bettman said that it’s up to Melnyk’s two daughters – aged 19 and 23 – to decide what to do with the team.

Melnyk was a polarizing figure during his time in ownership. One of the main issues he faced was the Senators’ arena situation: The club has played in suburban Kanata since 1996, but there has been immense pressure in recent years to build a new rink in downtown Ottawa.

Bettman added that a new arena isn’t off the table, but that it isn’t the main focus.

“That door opens, it closes, it opens and closes,” Bettman said. “I’m hopeful that maybe at some point it’ll happen.

“Right now we’re just focusing on the family’s wishes and being supportive of the family at a very difficult time.”

Significant change could be afoot at Nationals Park.

The Lerner family, owners of the Washington Nationals for nearly 16 years, are exploring selling the team, managing principal owner Mark Lerner told Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.

“This is an exploratory process, so there is no set timetable or expectation of a specific outcome,” Mark said in a statement. “The organization is as committed as ever to their employees, players, fans, sponsors, and partners, and to putting a competitive product on the field.”

While new ownership is one potential outcome, there’s no guarantee the team will change hands. The Lerners are looking at all possibilities relating to ownership structure, including adding partners while keeping majority ownership in the family, Nationals spokeswoman Jennifer Giglio said to Svrluga.

Ted Lerner, Mark’s father, bought the Nationals from Major League Baseball for $450 million in 2006, less than two years after the franchise moved to D.C. from Montreal. Ted, 96, transferred day-to-day operations to Mark in 2018. Forbes recently listed Ted’s current personal worth at $4.5 billion, per Svrluga.

Under the Lerners’ stewardship, the Nats were rebuilt into a powerhouse and experienced a golden era on the field. The team made five playoff appearances between 2012-19, winning four division titles and bringing Washington its first World Series championship in 95 years in 2019.

The franchise’s worth has skyrocketed since 2006. Forbes last month valued the Nationals at $2 billion, ranking 12th out of 30 MLB teams.

The league’s most recent ownership change occurred in 2020 when hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen bought the New York Mets for $2.4 billion.

The Denver Broncos are officially for sale, the team announced Tuesday.

“The Broncos are a special franchise that is part of the fabric of this region, and whoever emerges as the new owner will certainly understand what the team means to our great fans and this community,” team president and CEO Joe Ellis said.

The trustees hope to complete the sale by the start of the 2022 NFL season.

Pat Bowlen purchased the franchise in 1984. His family controlled the team after he died in 2019 from complications due to Alzheimer’s.

“With today beginning the Broncos’ transition to new ownership, our family is overwhelmed with gratitude for what this organization and community have meant to us,” the Bowlen family said in a statement. “There are truly no words to express our deep appreciation to all of Broncos Country for its unwavering support during the past four decades.”

The Broncos were recently valued at $3.75 billion, according to Forbes’ Mike Ozanian and Christina Settimi.

Denver is in the midst of changes along the sideline after hiring Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio as the club’s head coach in January.

The Denver Broncos are officially for sale, the team announced Tuesday.

“The Broncos are a special franchise that is part of the fabric of this region, and whoever emerges as the new owner will certainly understand what the team means to our great fans and this community,” team president and CEO Joe Ellis said.

The trustees hope to complete the sale by the start of the 2022 NFL season.

Pat Bowlen purchased the franchise in 1984. His family controlled the team after he died in 2019 from complications due to Alzheimer’s.

“With today beginning the Broncos’ transition to new ownership, our family is overwhelmed with gratitude for what this organization and community have meant to us,” the Bowlen family said in a statement. “There are truly no words to express our deep appreciation to all of Broncos Country for its unwavering support during the past four decades.”

The Broncos were recently valued at $3.75 billion, according to Forbes’ Mike Ozanian and Christina Settimi.

Denver is in the midst of changes along the sideline after hiring Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio as the club’s head coach in January.

The NHL’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins to Fenway Sports Group.

“The purchase remains subject to negotiation and execution of documentation before the transaction can be closed,” the league said Thursday.

The new owners signed an agreement to buy a majority interest in the club on Nov. 29. At the time, the sale was subject to league approval and was expected to close by year’s end. The purchase price is still unconfirmed.

Previous majority owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle will retain minority shares, and the team’s senior management staff will remain in place.

Fenway Sports Group, which also owns MLB’s Boston Red Sox and the Premier League’s Liverpool, reportedly explored a merger with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment before pursuing the Penguins. MLSE oversees the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, MLS’ Toronto FC, and Scotiabank Arena.

Lemieux and Burkle rescued Pittsburgh from bankruptcy after buying the team in 1999. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016, and 2017.

Fenway Sports Group LLC, owners of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool, have signed an agreement to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL club confirmed Monday.

The purchase price is currently unknown, and the NHL still needs to approve the deal. The Penguins said Monday they expect the sale to close by the end of this year.

Pittsburgh’s previous majority owners, Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux, will remain part of the ownership group, and the Penguins’ senior management team will stay in place.

Burkle and Lemieux have owned the Penguins since 1999, saving the franchise from bankruptcy and overseeing three Stanley Cups from 2009-17.

Fenway Sports Group reportedly sought a merger with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment before pursuing Pittsburgh, but the Toronto-based conglomerate wasn’t interested.

The Penguins were valued at $845 million in October, the 15th-highest total in the NHL, according to Sportico.