The owner of the Golden Nugget Casino chain has reportedly bought the NBA’s Houston Rockets for a record $2.2 billion, according to sources from ESPN.
The Houston Rockets has a new owner, but die-hard fans don’t have to worry, they won’t see their side running out to the sounds of Crazy in Love.
When Leslie Alexander announced plans to sell his beloved Rockets, back in July, Houston native Beyonce was one of the first people to express an interest.
And Beyonce wasn’t alone with a variety of former NBA stars, celebrities and entrepreneurs keen on taking over the reins of the two time NBA Champions.
Ultimately, the torch didn’t pass to an R&B singer. It went to the wealthiest restauranteur in the world.
Tilman Fertitta will become the new owner subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. There was no mention of a figure in the official press release, but ESPN cites a fee of $2.2 billion, making it the most expensive NBA purchase of all time (Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion for the LA Clippers in 2014).
Alexander bought the Rockets for $85 million ahead of the 1993-94 season, so it’s a sizeable profit. The former Lord and Master is said to be over the moon about the sale. He has known Fertitta for 24-years and wanted the franchise to pass into the hands of a fellow Houstonian.
Forbes recently valued the Rockets at $1.65 billion.
Fertitta is worth an estimated $3.1 billion and made all of his money through Landry’s the Houston-based restaurant and entertainment business that owns Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Claim Jumper, and the Golden Nugget Casino chain.
“I am overwhelmed with emotion to have this opportunity in my beloved city,” Fertitta told the associated press.
The announcement of the deal was an unfortunate one given the 66 lives lost, and over $70 billion in estimated damages created in the greater Houston metropolitan area, due to Hurricane Harvey.
The press release addressed the timing, calling it unfortunate but stressed that negotiations had been ongoing since July.
A certain President Donald Trump once owned The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Fertitta acquired it after the casino went bankrupt. Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t occur to the country he is now running, although many people will hope that it does.
I think Beyonce should run as President.