Wednesday November 29, 2023

Phoenix Suns, Mercury Reportedly Selling to Mat Ishbia for $4 Billion

  • Mat Ishbia will pay around $4 billion for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury.
  • The purchase will end the scandal-plagued tenure of Robert Sarver.
New Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia smiles while leaning on table
Junfu Han-Imagn
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The Phoenix Suns appear to have a buyer.

Billionaire Mat Ishbia is reportedly finalizing a deal to buy the NBA team. At 42, he’ll be the league’s second-youngest owner.

  • The United Wholesale Mortgage CEO will pay around $4 billion, easily beating the record for an NBA team set by Joseph Tsai’s 2019 purchase of the Brooklyn Nets for $2.3 billion.
  • The WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury are also included in the deal. 
  • Ishbia’s brother Justin, a founding partner of Shore Capital, will be joining as an investor and alternate governor of the team.

The deal has been agreed to in principle and is expected to be completed soon.

The team is being sold by Robert Sarver after an investigation detailed repeated acts of misogyny and racism by the owner. An additional report found that Suns CEO Jason Rowley was also complicit in the team’s toxic culture but has faced few consequences to date.

Ishbia, a college walk-on, won an NCAA championship as a basketball player at Michigan State.

More Sales Coming

There are at least eight additional major teams for sale. 

MLB’s Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels, the Premier League’s Liverpool FC and Manchester United, and the NHL’s Ottawa Senators are all on the market. 

Like the Phoenix teams, the NFL’s Washington Commanders and NWSL’s Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars are at least exploring sales due to similar scandals related to their owners. 

Dan and Tanya Snyder could sell all, some, or possibly none of the Commanders, with first-round bidding reportedly closing this week.

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