Tilman Fertitta agrees to purchase the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion.
It hasn’t been two months since Leslie Alexander put the Houston Rockets on the market, and he’s already cashing out.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Fox 26’s Mark Berman, the billionaire Tilman Fertitta has purchased the Rockets for $2.2 billion, an NBA franchise record.
Tilman made his fortune as the owner of Landry’s restaurant and Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels.
Fetitta’s biggest competitor in the Rockets sweepstakes was billionaire Dan Friedkin. Former Rockets players Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo along with Houston native Beyonce Knowles also showed interest in buying the team, according to Mark Berman.
Fertitta attempted to purchase the Rockets back in 1993 for $81 million, but he was outbid by Leslie Alexander.
Tilman Fertitta offered $81 million for the Rockets in 1993 (lost by $4 million).
He will now pay 16 TIMES more, factoring for inflation. https://t.co/nhQPBTMA5Q
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 5, 2017
It’s no surprise that the Rockets sold for a record price.
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The Rockets have been extremely successful under the leadership of Alexander. In the past 24 years, the Rockets have won two championships and drafted center Yao Ming, who increased the NBA’s international popularity, especially in China.
Forbes placed the Rockets at a $1.65 billion valuation. But with James Harden under contract for the remainder of his prime years and Chris Paul in tow, the Rockets are ready to make a lot of noise in the Western Conference. Factor in that Houston is a top 10 television market in the U.S. and its no wonder that the Rockets sold for a record price.
Fertitta expressed his gratitude and excitement after the transaction, via Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today.
“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a life-long dream come true. Leslie Alexander has been one of the best owners in all of sports, and I thank him immensely for this opportunity. He has the heart of a champion.”
Unfortunately, this news breaks during one of the biggest tragedies in the history of Texas. But on the bright side, Tilman Fertitta is a Houston native. He can help provide aid for those affected by the storm in both the present and the future.