Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hoping to Sell, Team Owners Face a New Opponent: Recession

As a basketball player, Michael Jordan ruthlessly exploited his opponents’ weaknesses. As a businessman, he is now trying to exploit the financially troubled sports world by buying the money-losing Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association for about $25 million less than they sold for in 2002.
 Jordan is not alone in seeing opportunity in financially weakened franchises. In the past year, five of the nine major professional sports teams in the United States that were sold or are being sold were saddled with substantial debt or operating losses. Another dozen in the four biggest leagues, which have a total of 122 teams, may soon change hands.


In the wake of the financial crisis, new owners like Jordan are facing a future without the near-certainty of making up for any short-term losses by selling their teams for hefty profits later.


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