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#pounditSunday, February 25, 2024

Report: Favorite emerges to buy Washington Nationals

Ted Leonsis with the media

Dec 16, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis speaks at a press conference announcing exhibition games for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey prior to a game between the Capitals and the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A favorite has emerged to buy the Washington Nationals, according to a report.

Ted Leonsis, who is the owner of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals, is the “clear” front-runner to purchase the team, The Athletic reported on Thursday.

Earlier this year, we learned that the Lerner family was looking to sell the Nats. The team is expected to sell for at least $2 billion, with the family hoping to receive $3 billion.

Leonsis reportedly has been ahead of other potential buyers over the last month. The 65-year-old bought the Caps in 1998 and the Wizards in 2010.

If Leonsis were to purchase the Nats, he would become the second person to own teams in three of the four major North American sports leagues. Stan Kroenke and his family, which owns the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, is the other.

One potential complication in a sale of the Nats is the team’s dispute with the Baltimore Orioles over MASN. MASN is the regional sports channel that airs both Nats and Orioles games. The Orioles have a larger ownership share of the channel, and the Nats have sued them, alleging they are owed money by the O’s.

Leonsis could try to move the Nats off MASN and onto NBC Sports Washington, which he owns. NBC Sports Washington airs Capitals and Wizards games.

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