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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Leonsis Closer to Adding Nationals to Trove of Teams

  • Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics owner Ted Leonsis could soon buy the Nationals.
  • Lawsuits with the Baltimore Orioles complicate the deal.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A leading contender has emerged to buy the Washington Nationals, potentially setting up a D.C. sports empire.

Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics, tops the list, per The Athletic.

  • Leonsis is working with Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein.
  • Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment also has stakes in the Capitals and Wizards’ Capital One Arena, NBA G-League team Capital City Go-Go, regional sports network NBC Sports Washington, and multiple esports teams.
  • The Lerner family, which purchased the Nationals for $450 million in 2006, said in April that they hired investment back Allen & Company to explore a sale. Forbes valued the team at $2 billion in March, 12th in Major League Baseball.

In addition to Leonsis and Rubenstein, former CEO of three MLB teams Larry Lucchino, Freedom Mortgage CEO Stanley Middleman, and co-founder of private equity firm MBK Partners Michael B. Kim have shown interest in the Nationals.


Leonsis Among 28 Parties Eyeing Nationals Bid

A reported 28 parties have expressed interest in purchasing the Washington Nationals.…
June 13, 2022

The MASN Problem

One obstacle to a sale is that the Nationals do not currently have the same ability to profit from their regional sports network, MASN, because the Baltimore Orioles hold a 67% stake.

The unique arrangement was established as compensation for the Orioles when the Nationals moved into their region from Montreal in 2005. 

The Nationals are tangled in multiple lawsuits around MASN, including one in which a judge has ruled that the team is owed around $100 million in rights fees for broadcasts between 2012 and 2017. The Orioles are appealing that ruling.

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