Why so many investors buy sports teams

Mark Attanasio speaking at Delivering Alpha in New York on Sept. 13, 2016.
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Wall Street traders and baseball players may have different uniforms, but they share the same competitive juices.

That's what often drives investors to professional sports teams, though the road isn't always easy, said Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio.

"Everybody's intensely competitive, so I think you have to really love the sport and be willing to compete at a very high level," Attanasio, who also is co-founder and managing partner at Crescent Capital Group, said Tuesday at the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.

"The reason you have so many investors do it," he said, is because "it brings out the same competitive juices that beating the market does."

Attanasio spoke on a panel with Wally Walker, the former president and general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA and the Seattle Storm of the WNBA. They disagreed somewhat on the kind of relationship owners should have with players.

"You can't really be friends with the players," Walker said. "Some owners I've seen learn the hard way that that doesn't work."

Both had predictions for the future of the sports in which they are involved.

Walker said he expects the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA championship in the upcoming season, while Attanasio said the Chicago Cubs are the obvious favorite to win Major League Baseball's World Series.