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?