New ownership in place for Royals

For the third time in the franchise’s history, the Kansas City Royals will be under new ownership. Current owner David Glass announced the sale on August 30. The purchase was made by local entrepreneur John Sherman and along with a group of co-investors for a fee of around $1 billion. Making the deal not far off from the recent $1.2 billion sale of the Miami Marlins in 2017. 

Sherman has lived in Kansas City for more than four decades despite owning assets in the Cleveland Indians franchise as well. He will of course need to surrender these interests in the AL Central rivals, which is believed to be about 30% of the team. He has profited off of energy companies that he founded, as well as his investments in agriculture and biosciences.

The soon to be owner is dedicated to keeping the Royals’ status as MLB contenders. A status the team has loosely held since the it had two consecutive World Series appearances in 2014- 2015, beating the New York Mets in one of them to win its first since 1985. The second in the team’s history. Between the two World Series, the team has admittedly been a bottom feeder of the AL Central division. 

Multiple 100-loss seasons had taken a huge toll on Kansas City’s belief in the team’s ownership. Glass’ commitment to the team was questioned in large part due to an unwillingness to spend money on the team’s payroll. Sherman hopes to avoid this route, pledging to compete for championships and to honour the city’s unwavering support for the team. 

The team is in desperate need of this confidence after currently sitting in fourth place in the AL Central with a 49-89 record and only 24 games left to go. It is safe to say that there will be no playoffs for Kansas City this year. It also looks likely that just four years removed from the World Series victory the Royals will have back to back 100-loss seasons. 

If the team is going to retain the spark that produced the two consecutive American League pennants without falling back into being the Royals of the 90’s and 2000’s, the ownership must be dedicated. Sherman is buying the Royals at an opportune time for a number of reasons. In regards to the immediate team, there is a great confidence in the Royals’ prospects advancing through the team’s farm system. 

There will also be some big decisions for the team’s front office to make regarding its current media and ballpark leases. The Royals local television contract will expire after this season. The team is expected to sign a new deal doubling the annual rights fees to $50 million. Although still relatively small for the MLB, the increase will certainly help the franchise to achieve higher-end goals.

The Royals also have just 12 years left on its Kauffman Stadium lease. This gives the team options for newer renovations to update the ballpark or even perhaps the opportunity to look at the purchase of a new park completely. With the downtown area of Kansas City recently finding new life, a stadium placed in the center could help to bring the team closer to the city’s heart. 

These new changes should resonate with MLB bettors as the Kansas City Royals will be considered a dark horse going into the next few seasons. It takes a special type of team to win the World Series and then have multiple seasons with more than 100 losses only a few years later. Certainly a fair amount of blame could be placed on the team’s ownership for such drastic inconsistency. 

With new ownership soon to be in place, betting investments in the team could pay off even in as little as one season. Though another World Series win may be too much, this is certainly a team with a large amount of potential that will find it hard to perform worse than it does now. Expect the team to seriously compete in the AL Central in the upcoming seasons, likely to be coupled with high odds in futures bets. 

The deal was made due to Glass’ declining health. The 83-year-old had taken sole ownership of the franchise in 2000 with a $96 million bid but has been involved with the club since 1993. Higher urgency to find a replacement quickly formed. Glass’ main goal in finding a replacement was to find someone local who would keep the team in town. 

Leaving Kansas City with a mixed legacy, Glass cited the thrill of seeing the crowds gather to congratulate the newly crowned World Series champions and told reporters it has been a fantastic ride. All owners will vote on the sale on Nov. 21, set to retire Glass from more than 25 years of service to the franchise.