In a move that joins two empires, Phillip Anschutz is selling his 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to Los Angeles Dodgers owners Todd Boehly and Mark Walter.
With Boehly and Warner now holding the top minority stake in the Lakers, there are suddenly deep links between two historic sports franchises.
- There is speculation that the Lakers and Dodgers could one day bundle their media rights together. L.A. has over 5.7 million homes — the second-largest media market in the U.S.
- Walter and Boehly are part-owners of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Former Lakers great and executive Magic Johnson is part-owner of the Dodgers and Sparks.
Anschutz Entertainment Group owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Staples Center, where the Lakers, Kings, Sparks, and Los Angeles Clippers play. Anschutz explored selling AEG 10 years ago but ultimately decided to hold.
The new deal could set up Boehly and Walter for a majority stake in the Lakers one day. The pair gained right of first refusal, meaning that they would have the first opportunity to fully buy the team, should owner Jeannie Buss decide to sell.