CLEVELAND (AP) — Billionaire sports businessman David Blitzer has officially joined the Cleveland Guardians as a minority owner and will eventually take control of the ballclub.
The team announced its agreement with Blitzer and his investment group on Monday, the final step in him taking a minority stake in the American League team.
Owner Paul Dolan had been looking for a minority investor for several years and ended his search with Blitzer, who also has ownership stakes in the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils.
“I am very excited about bringing on David Blitzer and his group as our partners,” Dolan said. ”David brings a wealth of experience in the sports industry that we believe will be a complementary addition to our organization.
"I look forward to collaborating with David for years to come to achieve our goal of winning a World Series.”
Major League Baseball approved Blitzer's purchase earlier this month. In addition to the Sixers and Devils, the 52-year-old Blitzer also has sports holdings with soccer clubs Crystal Palace and Real Salt Lake.
"I am thrilled to join the ownership group of the Cleveland Guardians, a storied Major League Baseball franchise with a loyal, engaged fanbase,” Blitzer said. “Our goal is to support Paul and the incredibly talented Guardians leadership team in delivering to Cleveland a team that can contend for a World Series.
“We also look forward to assisting the Guardians in their mission of using the platform of baseball to drive positive change in the communities our team serves. I thank Paul and the Dolan family, as well as our partners in this investment, for this amazing opportunity.”
It's believed Blitzer initially will have 25-30% ownership and will have the right to increase his stake to a controlling interest in several years.
Blitzer's addition should give the Guardians an infusion of capital to perhaps be more aggressive in free agency and in signing some of their younger players.
Despite having one of baseball's lowest payrolls, the Guardians are just two games out of first place in the AL Central. They open a five-game series against first-place Minnesota on Monday.
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