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Buyers Competing for Sports Teams in Top Markets

Sports teams for sale in the top ten media markets are going to have a robust number of prospective buyers.

Take the sale of the Texas Rangers, which was approved today by Major league Baseball, after a contentious bankruptcy case. The Greenberg-Ryan group (famed pitcher Nolan Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg) eventually won the competition for the team with a $590 million bid.

The initial sale to Greenberg-Ryan was blocked by the president of Galatioto Sports Partners, Sal Galatioto, in favor of an auction idea that led to a higher bid and more revenue.

"It's tougher to finance any asset class right now," but it can be done, Sal Galatioto told CNBC's "The Strategy Session" on Thursday.

Case in point, Galatioto's involvement with the selling of:

  • Chicago Cubs: $845 million
  • Golden State Warriors: $450 million
  • Texas Rangers: $593 million
  • Charlotte Bobcats: $272 million

Also, some buyers are looking at this economic climate as the "glass is half full, instead of half empty" because the "collective bargaining agreements are going to be better and more favorable to the owner, and maybe it's the time to get in," Galatioto said.

But when you talking about teams down the curve (not in the top markets) it's much more difficult, with fewer buyers—sometimes you have no buyers, he said.

For that reason, "you need a deep rolodex, you have to look far afield—including looking worldwide in places like the Middle East and East Asia," Galatioto concluded.

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