• Loading stock data...
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ted Leonsis Still Wants to Buy the Nationals, Add to D.C. Portfolio

  • Any Nationals sale comes intertwined with a messy D.C. regional sports network situation.
  • Leonsis already owns the Capitals, Mystics, and Wizards. 
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Leonsis may not take no for an answer—he’s still interested in buying the Nationals. 

Leonsis, the CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment (which owns the Wizards, Mystics, and Capitals), originally tried to buy MLB’s Washington, D.C., franchise from the Lerner family for $2 billion, in 2023, before the Lerners decided to keep the team. On Wednesday, he told The Washington Post that he remains interested in adding the baseball team to his local sports empire. 

Leonsis hinted at the same notion in April when he told Front Office Sports Today, “We have a lot on the plate, but we have conversations all the time because the Lerners and [Monumental] are close. … They know my intentions, and at some point we’ll reengage.”

Should Leonsis acquire the team at some point, he would own every major professional sports team in the D.C. area aside from MLS’s D.C. United and the Washington Commanders, which sold to Josh Harris and David Blitzer in December 2023

The Lerners originally expressed an interest in selling the Nationals in April 2022, before deciding this February the team was no longer for sale. The Post has since reported that people around the Lerners believe the family will again consider selling after the ’24 baseball season, if the right situation emerges.

From a business perspective, the Nationals fit right into Leonsis’s portfolio and could solve an issue that has stuck with the Nationals since they arrived in the nation’s capital, in 2005: regional broadcast rights. When the Nats slid into the Baltimore Orioles’ television territory, MLB struck a compromise by giving the Orioles the Nats’ television rights in perpetuity. Thus started a nearly 20-year arbitration battle between the two teams, with the O’s fighting nearly every dollar they owe their National League neighbors. 

That arrangement could have previously been a challenge in the Lerners’ selling the team, but the Orioles’ recent change in ownership, from the Angelos family to David Rubenstein, offers hope of a resolution. Leonsis previously partnered with Rubenstein on a bid to buy the Nationals, giving them a previous relationship. And Leonsis also owns Monumental Sports Network, which broadcasts games for his current portfolio of teams, giving the Nationals a natural home should the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network mess get resolved.

“We need to have scale so that we can compete with the New Yorks and the L.A.s as a community,” Leonsis told the Post. “Having winter programming—Caps and Wizards—and then summer programming—the baseball team and the women’s basketball team—and owning the venues, I think we can compete from a business standpoint, from a revenue standpoint, with those really big markets. In baseball, you really need to have a big base of revenues to be able to afford putting great lineups out there.”

Since taking control of the Orioles shortly before the start of this season, Rubenstein has expressed a desire to resolve the longstanding MASN conflict. Doing so could help the Lerner family inch closer to getting the $2.4 billion price Steve Cohen paid for the Mets in 2020, which is said to have been their previous target.

“I think all of baseball, and all the fans of Baltimore and Washington, would like to see this resolved in a friendly, amicable way in the near future,” Rubenstein told the Post in March. “And that’s my goal.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The WNBA Rookies Are Creating a New Celebrity Row

Major celebs like Kim Kardashian and Latto are showing up for the newbies.

World’s Best Golfer Arrested Attempting to Enter PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler was arrested and released by Louisville police Friday morning.

Cuts and Layoffs Coming at Under Armour As Sales Keep Dropping

Under Armour just reinstalled founder Kevin Plank as CEO.

Lawsuit: Blackhawks Lured Indigenous Consultant With False Promise of Changing Logo

The consultant claims the team failed to keep promises, including changing its logo.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB, NBA, NHL Broadcasting Future Goes to Court

0:00

Featured Today

Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.
May 18, 2024

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Adidas
Multiple - USA Careers
FanDuel
Multiple - USA Careers

Mets Owner Faces Backlash After Tweet Sparks Trade Speculation

Mets owner Steve Cohen is walking back a now deleted tweet that further riled an impatient fan base.
May 14, 2024

WNBA’s Next Franchise Has a Name: Golden State Valkyries

They are the league’s 13th team and first expansion franchise since 2008.
May 15, 2024

How the Golden State Valkyries Are Walking the Fine Line of Their Warriors Connection

The WNBA expansion team revealed a new name and logo Tuesday that align with—but don’t mirror—the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Sponsored

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; American actors and comedians Chris Rock (left) and Ben Stiller sit court side during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
May 11, 2024

The Haves and Have-Nots: How the Knicks’ Celebrity Row Works

Unwritten rules, an expectation of quid pro quo, and nothing is free.
May 10, 2024

A Rising Pirates Star and His Famous Girlfriend Are Sparking National Buzz

Last year’s No. 1 draft pick will make his MLB debut, generating big expectations both locally and nationally.
May 9, 2024

Retail-Level Politics: Utah’s New NHL Team Owner Engages Fans Early On

A series of potential team names center on Utah’s status as a haven for winter sports.
May 9, 2024

Meet the … Utah Yeti? NHL Franchise Polling 20 Options for New Team Name

Jerseys will say ‘Utah’ for next season.