Total price for Brooklyn and Barclays Center now a record $3.5 billion
The Brooklyn Nets have been sold to Taiwanese entrepreneur Joe Tsai, who bought Mikhail Prokhorov’s 51% stake in the franchise to claim complete ownership of the NBA team. Tsai, who is the co-founder and the executive vice-chairman of Alibaba, has spent a record $3.5 billion to gain control of the franchise and own the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, which was built to become home to the Nets.
That number dwarfs the previous record for the sale of any other professional sports team, with the previous record at $2.2 billion, which was shared by recent sales of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL and the NBA’s Houston Rockets (h/t Nets Daily).
Tsai has now become one of four owners who control franchises in the NBA, WNBA, G League and NBA2K leagues. With the others markets being Indiana, Minnesota and Washington. Tsai is also on the board of NBA China, putting him among the most powerful owners in the league.
The purchase of the Barclays Center will also allow Tsai, who owns the WNBA’s New York Liberty, to be able to move his team from a smaller and older Westchester County Center to a state-of-the-art venue. The Liberty drew 7,700 fans to the Barclays Center last week for a game against the Seattle Storm, four times what they mustered in a smaller Westchester.
The Nets will be a booming franchise after the acquisitions of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan — a trio they could keep for the next four years, even if Durant has to sit out for the upcoming season with a torn Achilles. Seems like Tsai has invested in a pot of gold.