The Houston Astros are for sale

Drayton McLane, owner of the Houston Astros, has put his club on the market. McLane bought the team in 1992 for 105 million dollars, and although he has spent a lot of money on the payroll the Astros have had very little post season success. McLane has owned the team for 18 years, and the team has made the playoffs just six times. They did make it to the 2005 World Series, but they were then swept by the Chicago White Sox. They have spent a lot of money on payroll, but as we know it is how you spend your money not how much of it was spent.

Forbes has the Astros valued at 453 million dollars. Most of that is tied up in their relatively new ball park Minute Maid Field. The team moved there from the famed Astrodome in the year 2000. The team does not own the park, but certainly playing there has opened up new revenue streams for them.

I know what everyone is thinking, that Mark Cuban will be the first guy who steps up to buy this team. Well while Cuban would like to own a baseball team, Major League Baseball does not want him to join their ownership ranks. Also the price tag for this team is likely to top 500 million dollars, so a sole proprietor kind of situation seems very unlikely.

Steve Greenberg, a former baseball executive, has been brought in to find a person or a ownership group to buy the team. Some may have thought that the sale of this team was a financial planning move on be half of the again McLane. That would require the formation of a Limited Liability Company to purchase the team though a leveraged buyout, but those plans do not seem to coming to fruition. The sale will likely take close to a full calendar year to complete.

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