Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander shocked the NBA recently when he announced that the team he has owned since 1993 was up for sale.
Earlier this year the Rockets were valued at $1.65 billion by Forbes Magazine, which was the eighth highest of the 30 NBA teams, but it was reported in recent weeks that Alexander had multiple $2 billion offers.
Tuesday morning he accepted one of those offers, selling the team to Galveston, Texas native and Houston resident Tilman Fertitta for $2.2 billion, which is the most an NBA franchise has ever been sold for.
The Rockets released a statement on the sale, and Fertitta commented on what it means to him to buy the team he grew up rooting for:
“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a life-long dream come true,” said Fertitta, a native of Galveston and life-long resident of the Houston area. “Leslie Alexander has been one of the best owners in all of sports, and I thank him immensely for this opportunity. He has the heart of a champion. Lastly, out of respect for the NBA’s approval process, I can say no more other than I am overwhelmed with emotion to have this opportunity in my beloved city of Houston.”
Fertitta is the owner of one of the largest restaurant corporations in the country, Landry’s, Inc., in addition to owning the Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels.
Included in the deal is the Rockets arena, the Toyota Center in Houston and Fertitta did not have any other partners in the deal so he is the sole owner of the team.
Alexander bought the team for $85 million, so the value of the franchise increased by more than 25 times the amount he paid for it in 24 years.