Fans are entertained.

Athletes get fame.

But if teams lose, owners get the blame.

What’s more, an owner can get stuck with a great deal of not-so-glamorous work, what with execs to be hired, checks to be signed and licensing contracts to be negotiated. Not to mention calls from reporters asking why a coach or manager hasn’t been fired.

So why buy a team? Sure, courtside seats are great, but many local investors who have purchased a stake (or full ownership) of football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer teams say they are passionate about sports, and the decision to buy a team (or two or more) was driven by their hearts as much as their heads. For an example of the heart winning out, witness last year’s staggering $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers by no-way-he-would-be-outbid Steve Ballmer.

In this special section, the Business Journal profiles those people who own local sports teams as well as the many L.A. investors who control a piece of major professional sports teams around the country. And we ask the simple question: Why?

Basketball

Steve Ballmer

Buss family

Stephen Kaplan

Harry Tsao

Tom Gores

Baseball

Bill Maher

Marc I. Stern

Stan Kasten

Jeff Katofsky

Lew Wolff

Hockey

Warren Woo

Football

Steve Tisch

Larry Paul & Stephen Paul

Soccer

Andrew Hauptman

Lacrosse

Jake Steinfeld

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