Kansas City Royals to be sold to local businessman for $1 billion

Kansas City Royals catcher Martin Maldonado waits for the throw in the eighth inning on July 7, 2019, in Washington.


By JAKE RUSSELL | The Washington Post | Published: August 31, 2019

Kansas City Royals owner David Glass and his family announced Friday they will sell the baseball team to a group of investors led by local businessman John Sherman. The sale is expected to be worth about $1 billion.

"The decision to sell the Royals was difficult for our family," Glass said. "Our goal, which I firmly believe we've achieved, was to have someone local, who truly loved the game of baseball and who would be a great steward for this franchise going forward. In John Sherman we have found everything we were looking for in taking ownership of this franchise. John Sherman and his group far exceeded our hope for the next caretaker of Royals baseball. His love for Kansas City and the game of baseball is well documented as are his philanthropic endeavors in the surrounding communities."

Sherman, a former Royals season-ticket holder, is a Kansas City native and has been a minority owner of the Cleveland Indians since 2016. He'll have to sell his stake in the Indians before taking over the Royals. He and his partners will become the third ownership group since the franchise was founded by Ewing Kauffman in 1969.

The 64-year-old Sherman is expected to be officially introduced as the Royals' newest owner at November's MLB owners' meetings.

"I am enormously grateful to David and the Glass Family for this extraordinary opportunity and am humbled by the chance to team up with a distinguished group of local investors to carry forward and build on this rich Kansas City Royals legacy," Sherman said. "Our goal will be threefold: to compete for a championship on behalf of our fans; to honor their passion, their experience and their unwavering commitment; and to carry their hopes and dreams forward in this great Kansas City region we all love - for decades to come."

Glass, the former president and CEO of Walmart, bought the Royals in April 2000 for $96 million. Forbes estimated in April that the Royals are the 28th-most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball, with a total value of $1.025 billion. The 83-year-old's decision to sell the team was brought on by "private health reasons," according to USA Today.

"As for my family, it has been an amazing run since we gained control of the franchise in 2000," Glass said. "I will miss this more than anyone realizes because I grew up loving this great game and was awarded a fantastic opportunity to own one of the 30 Major League clubs. We watched this club painfully come up 90-feet short in 2014 and then ultimately win that coveted World Series trophy in 2015. I will never forget the thrill of seeing over 800,000 people of this community come together on one sunny November day to salute the newly-crowned World Champions. It's been a fantastic ride and I want to thank our great fans for supporting us through the years but now it's time for someone else to oversee this franchise into its next championship and in John Sherman, we've found the perfect individual."

The Miami Marlins were the last MLB team to be sold, going for $1.2 billion in 2017. With a current value of $1 billion, they're the least valuable franchise in baseball, according to Forbes.

The Royals have only made the playoffs nine times in the club's 50-year history but have appeared in four World Series, winning two (1985 and 2015).

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