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Season 1 on ESPN+: Team Ownership

Last Updated: April 26, 2023

What does it really mean to own a sports team and what does the job entail? In this episode, we break down everything from the purchase process to the day-to-day aspects of the job to the future of team ownership and venues. Plus, a visit to the LAFC with owner Peter Guber.

Team valuations for professional sports franchises in leagues like the NFL and NBA have exploded in the past decade. In a growing league like MLS, ownership groups are looking to capture value early on with the expectation of explosive growth. Steve Ballmer, who paid over $2B to take control of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014, joins Rick Welts, President of the Golden State Warriors, and Josh Kroenke, President and Governor of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche and whose Kroenke Sports and Entertainment also has equity in the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Rapids of MLS, and Arsenal Football Club of the English Premier League. The group discusses the ways in which the ecosystem of fans, team operations, and ownership work to create value in the modern sports landscape. Rick Welts and Steve Ballmer explain some of the vetting processes that NBA owners must go through before approval of the sale of a franchise. The panel also tackles the issue of the lack of diversity in ownership groups and how the next generation of players can learn the blueprint of sports business and challenge the status quo.

Ownership structures are changing across the sports landscape, and we explore one case study by visiting Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) with Peter Guber, a majority owner of LAFC, and part owner of both the Los Angeles Dodger and Golden State Warriors. LAFC’s ownership group features an ownership group of over 30 owners including former sports stars like Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm, Magic Johnson, and actor Will Ferrell. 

Watch this episode, along with all of Seasons 1 and 2 of The Boardroom, streaming now on ESPN+.