Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Houston Astros has been sold by owner Drayton McLane to a consortium of local businessmen led by Jim Crane.
Financial details have not been disclosed for the agreement, announced yesterday, May 16, but reports have suggested the deal is worth in the region of US$680m.
McLane has now relinquished his ownership of the Astros after 19 years to Crane, who initially tried to buy the team three years ago. Though an agreement has been reached by the two parties, Crane will only seize control of the club pending approval from the League. Crane has been in the market for a baseball franchise for quite some time having unsuccessfully tried to buy MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers following his first Astros setback.
McLane, who bought the team in November 1992 for $117m, put the franchise up for sale in November with a significant selling point being the team’s share in a new deal with the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets to create a regional sports network. The new network will begin airing Rockets games in 2012 before Astros broadcasts start in 2013.
The Houston Chronicle reported that former Rockets president George Postolos will take over as chief executive officer of the Astros when the sale is complete.
Crane said: “We worked long and hard to get a baseball team, and will work even harder to win a World Series for our hometown. Thank you to Drayton and my partners for making this day possible.”