A second canadian team?
Old 05-22-2009, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NBA.com: For sale: Bobcats owner Johnson seeking buyer
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For sale: Bobcats owner Johnson seeking buyer


Posted May 22 2009 6:21PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- After losing tens of millions of dollars, the first black majority owner of a major professional sports team is exploring selling the Charlotte Bobcats.

Bob Johnson's decision could pave the way for minority investor Michael Jordan to take control of the team -- if he's willing to meet Johnson's price.

The NBA confirmed Friday that Johnson is using a New York-based sports financial services firm to seek additional investors. Jordan said in February that he'd be interested in someday getting majority control of the team.

Johnson and Jordan did not immediately respond to requests for interviews on Friday through team spokesmen.

The Charlotte Observer first reported Thursday that Johnson is using Galatioto Sports Partners to help with a potential sale. The firm, which Johnson used to assemble his initial group of minority investors, includes former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik.

"We are aware that Bob Johnson is looking for additional investors, and has retained Galatioto to assist that effort," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.

Johnson's ownership of the team has been rocky since he paid the NBA $300 million for the expansion franchise in 2003, just over a year after the Hornets left Charlotte for New Orleans.

The founder of Black Entertainment Television hasn't come close to turning a profit because of poor attendance, lagging sponsorship sales and a failed attempt to start a regional sports television network.

Johnson could find a buyer in Jordan, who bought a minority stake in the team in 2006. Johnson then gave Jordan total control of the basketball operations.

In February, Jordan said he'd like to increase his stake in the team.

"My interest to grow as an investor is still strong," said Jordan, who was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last month. "Purchasing the whole team I don't think that's an option right now. But if parts of the team become available, financially, if I can afford it, I'd definitely like to grow my investment."

Finding an agreeable price may not be easy. Forbes magazine recently valued the team at $284 million, less than Johnson's expansion fee. The team plays in a city hard hit by the financial crisis, and the credit crunch could hurt any deal of that magnitude.

However, the team also keeps all profits from the downtown Charlotte arena it operates and the Bobcats have improved on the court. Jordan hired Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown last year and he guided the Bobcats to a 35-47 record, the best in the franchise's five seasons.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Vancouver's got an NBA-ready arena and a fan base that's looking to prove that it can support an NBA team. I'm sure Kansas City and Las Vegas are more attractive options in terms of television deals and what not, but you never know.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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let's see what happens next....
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The city's 25-year arena lease agreement with the Bobcats says if the team leaves before the end of 2010, it'll have to pay the city $200 million in damages. If it leaves by 2015, it’s $150 million, and so on through 2030.
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I can't see a buyer moving the team under those circumstances.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Under those circumstances no one would even want to buy the team LOL
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They better change the name then

The Vancouver Bobcats, nah
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