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August 28, 2019
When David Glass bought the Kansas City Royals 19 years ago, he paid $96 million. However, if he sells them now, he could fetch more than $1 billion.
Glass who turns 84 next week has made his fortune as an executive with Wal-Mart since 2000. If Glass does sell, the return on his investment is going to be huge. Forbes in April estimated that the Royals were the 28th-most valuable baseball team, ahead of only the Rays and Marlins, but the Marlins sold for $1.2 billion in 2017. Forbes has the Royals worth $1 billion right now, but again, look at what the Marlins sold for.
Though there was a high point in 2015, Glass’ ownership hasn’t exactly been great for Royals fans. From 2000-2012, they had a winning record just once (83-79 in 2003) and fell short of 70 wins eight times. Everything came together and broke perfectly for them to win the AL pennant in 2014 and World Series in 2015, but things have fallen apart just as quickly. They are 46-86 after winning just 58 games last year.
Royals is in discussions about selling his MLB franchise to a group led by Kansas City entrepreneur and Cleveland Indians vice chairman John Sherman. Sherman is a Kansas City native with a long history of philanthropy and entrepreneurship in the city. The 2009 UMKC Bloch School of Business Entrepreneur of the Year serves on the board of directors for multiple organizations, including The Truman Presidential Library Institute.
He was a Royals season-ticket holder at the time who’d made a fortune in starting natural gas and energy companies (LPG Services Group, Inergy L.P.) and selling them to larger entities. LPG merged with Dynegy in 1996, while Inergy went public in 2001 before it eventually sold for more than $35 million. Sherman would, unsurprisingly, divest himself from the Indians organization if a sale is indeed agreed upon.