The Houston Rockets have had quite the offseason, and now they are about to be sold for a record amount. According to The Houston Chronicle beat reporter Jonathan Feigen, the Rockets will be sold for at least $2 billion to Tilman Fertitta, who has been dubbed the world’s richest restaurateur and currently serves on the board of regents for the University of Houston.
Can confirm Leslie Alexander reached agreement to sell Rockets to Tilman Fertitta. Sale price to break $2 billion record for an NBA sale.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) September 5, 2017
The previous record for a team sale is currently held by the Los Angeles Clippers, owned by Steve Ballmer. The former Microsoft CEO purchased the Clippers for $2 billion in 2014, beating out bids reportedly placed by names like Oprah Winfrey and Floyd Mayweather, and Magic Johnson. In retrospect, could you imagine the Clippers being owned by Mayweather? That’d be interesting.
When the news broke the Rockets were looking for a new owner, it was expected the Rockets would push for a new NBA sales record. Between the revenue the NBA is bringing in through TV money, the population of Houston, and the fact the franchise has been one of the more stable franchises for some time suggested the Rockets would command top dollar from any bidder. A sale price soaring above $2 billion overshoots the team’s valuation estimation from Forbes, which suggested the Rockets had a value of $1.65 billion. But billionaires with that kind of cash see value in slightly different eyes sometimes. And sale prices do trend upward over time too, so the Rockets being sold for an NBA record amount is no shocker here.
The sale will take some time to become official, of course, but it does look as though the agreement in principle has at least been made and the keys to the owner’s box are about to exchange hands.