The Washington Nationals are expected to be sold this offseason, changing hands for the first time since the Lerner family purchased the club from Major League Baseball in 2006 for $450 million. Ted Leonsis, a familiar face and name to D.C. sports fans, has emerged as one potential suitor, according to the Washington Post.
The Post reported on Tuesday that Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment group has been granted access to the Nationals’ financial data. Predictably, that’s a step toward Leonsis being able to make a bid on the franchise. Here’s more, again courtesy of the Post’s report:
At least five potential bidders have met with Nationals officials, another key step in addition to examining the team’s finances. Billionaire Michael B. Kim, whose private equity firm manages more than $25 billion in assets, met this summer with team officials at Nationals Park. Mortgage mogul Stanley Middleman has also met with team personnel. It is not known if Leonsis has formally met with Nationals officials.
Leonsis is, of course, the owner of several other D.C.-based professional sports franchises, including the NBA‘s Wizards, the WNBA’s Mystics and the NHL‘s Capitals. Leonsis’ group also recently purchased NBC Sports Washington, the local regional sports network.
It’s unclear if Leonsis can be deemed the favorite at the moment, or if he would be able to afford purchasing the team without bringing on other notable partners. For whatever it’s worth, Forbes estimates the Nationals franchise is valued at $2 billion, the 12th-highest mark in the majors.
The Nationals may not be the only team for sale this offseason. The Los Angeles Angels announced Tuesday afternoon that owner Arte Moreno will begin a formal process to consider all options, including placing the team on the market.