It is no secret that Alex Rodriguez wants to buy a professional sports team.
The former baseball star is looking to buy into one of the major North American professional sports leagues. In doing so, he would join the likes of such sporting-legends-turned-owners as Michael Jordan and his former teammate and (friend? rival? mortal enemy?), Derek Jeter.
With the backing of billionaire Marc Lore, a Rodriguez-led group recently put in a $1.5 billion offer for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. While a deal seemed imminent, a missed deadline now may spell doom for the sale.
Alex Rodriguez has unsuccessfully tried to buy a sports franchise before
This bid is not the first time Rodriguez has bid for a professional franchise. In late 2020, the former Yankees third baseman and his then-fiancé Jennifer Lopez put together an ownership group to make a bid for the New York Mets.
According to the New York Post, the Rodriguez group offered the Wilpons, who owned the Mets, $2.3 billion. The team eventually sold to the Mets former minority owner, Steve Cohen. The process reportedly left Rodriguez and company upset with the way the owners handled the sale.
In 2021, Rodriguez put together another group to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves. This group has even stronger financial footing than the group which bid on the Mets. The reason for this is the involvement of Lore.
The 49-year-old billionaire is a wildly successful businessman. In the last decade, he has sold two different companies for incredible sums of money. In 2011, he sold his company Quidsi (the parent company of diapers.com) to Amazon for $545 million. Five years later, he sold his next venture, Jet.com (an e-commerce company), to Walmart for $3.3 billion in 2016.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has almost sold the team before
According to CNBC, Taylor, a former Minnesota state senator, purchased the Timberwolves for $90 million in 1994. The sale came five years after the team’s founding, and Taylor’s involvement saved the team from being moved out of the Gopher State.
In August 2020, The Athletic reported that Taylor was in negotiations to sell the team to healthcare industry billionaire and Memphis Grizzlies minority owner Daniel E. Straus. This was at least Taylor’s third attempt to sell the team, but the deal also fell through like the first two.
In addition to the formal bids, former Timberwolves superstar Kevin Garnett announced he put together a group to buy the team. However, the power forward’s contentious relationship with Taylor caused the deal to never make it off the ground.
There have been several reported factors that have caused these negotiations to break down. Taylor is apparently a very hard negotiator, and the deals in the past have been contingent on agreements such as not moving the team out of Minnesota and allowing Taylor to stay in charge for a period of time.
Rodriguez and Taylor’s 30-day negotiating window has closed
On April 10, 2021, the Rodriguez/Lore group reached a tentative deal with Taylor to purchase the Timberwolves for $1.5 billion. Part of the deal is that Taylor will stay involved in running the team for two more years. ESPN is reporting that a guaranteed timeline to turn over ownership is a significant sticking point.
May 10 marked the end of an exclusive 30-day negotiating window between the Rodriguez/Lore group and Taylor. Now that this date has passed, the sale may now be in question. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is reporting that both parties are still committed to negotiating a deal.
While a deal may still come, the fact that a Taylor-led negotiation has missed a deadline is not a good sign. The longer the negotiation goes, the longer Rodriguez may have to wait to make his franchise ownership dreams come true.