Houston Rockets Standing Pat, Spurs Selling Minority Stake in Franchise
Texas is looking to jumpstart its economy and with that being said, a couple of Texas NBA teams are already tasked with making some crucial ownership decisions.
The San Antonio Spurs are selling. The Houston Rockets appear to be standing pat.
“As an ownership group we remain 100 percent committed to the city of San Antonio,” stated the Spurs organization in a statement. “Every day we celebrate the amazing relationship that exists between our community, our fans and our Spurs. San Antonio is home and will remain home.”
At this time, it remains unknown as to how large of a stake is available for sale. Forbes reported that the Spurs are currently worth $1.8 billion, meaning even a five-percent stake would cost a potential buyer $90 million. The organization was initially bought for approximately $76 million by the Holt family back in 1996.
Meanwhile, over in Houston, owner Tilman Fertitta remains firm about maintaining full ownership of the Rockets, despite continued speculation surrounding a potential sell.
“The Rockets would never be sold, unless the whole world came to an end and then it wouldn’t matter, ok?” said Fertitta. “If I ever sell the Rockets, it’s because we don’t exist anymore as a country with the rule of law. We’re having anarchy in the street, and at that point there’s no buyers.
“There’s a reason that I made it through the ’87 financial crisis, and 2000, and the 2007 (recession), because I’ve always kept so much liquidity. It’s just like me borrowing $300 million a few weeks ago, when I was able to do it when nobody else could at first. …Why not buy even more insurance? I have a huge amount of liquidity, and a lot of different sources of income. I’m not happy right now (with the financial impact), but I haven’t taken an equity partner, I didn’t have to give up warrants to borrow money…”
Fertitta originally bought the Rockets for a record $2.2 billion back in September 2017. Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has had no layoffs or pay cuts.
“Absolutely not one,” Fertitta said. “We’ve had no pay cuts. We didn’t apply for any funds within the Rockets, governmental or anything.”
The Rockets currently rank 13th in the league in terms of payroll at $130 million.