A major deal is going to go down in the desert.
The Phoenix Suns are likely to fetch at least $2.5 billion, according to sports bankers contacted by Forbes.
Suns managing partner and largest stakeholder Robert Sarver said he would sell the team following an NBA-commissioned report that detailed repeated acts of racism and misogyny. Sarver also plans to sell the Phoenix Mercury.
- That projected figure would be around eight times the team’s 2021-22 revenue.
- It would be the second-highest NBA team sale in history. Joseph Tsai bought the Brooklyn Nets for $3.2 billion in 2019.
- The most recent NBA team sale, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore’s 2021 purchase of the Minnesota Timberwolves, banked $1.5 billion.
Sarver owns around 35% of the Suns but reportedly has the authority to sell them in full as managing partner.
Two of the richest people in the world, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, have been mentioned as potential buyers, and former Disney CEO Bob Iger was reportedly interested in buying the team last year.
The NBA is seeking a massive increase in its next set of broadcast rights deals when its current agreements with ESPN and Turner Sports expire after the 2024-25 season.
The league could look for at least $8 billion annually over nine years, up from its current deals, which pay $2.6 billion per year.
Sources told Front Office Sports last year that sports betting giants including FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars are expected to bid for live game rights.