May 30, 2024

Ted Leonsis currently possesses the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Mystics. He has expressed his intention to pursue the acquisition of the Washington Nationals from the Lerner family, following a prior unsuccessful attempt in late 2022. Leonsis disclosed his ongoing interest in buying the Nationals during a recent radio appearance, emphasizing his amicable relationship with the Lerners despite their business differences.

Leonsis previously offered over $2 billion for the Nationals, but the latest information from the Lerners indicates that the team is not currently on the market. Despite this, Leonsis remains keen on the possibility, indicating that he will present a substantial offer and maintain communication. He views the acquisition as a strategic move, aligning with his goal to provide year-round programming for Monumental Sports Network and solidify Washington, DC, as a premier sports city.

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Leonsis’s interest in the Nationals first emerged in mid-2022, leading to a partnership with David Rubenstein after the initial bid fell through. Rubenstein later spearheaded a group that acquired the Baltimore Orioles in 2024, potentially paving the way for smoother negotiations regarding MASN, the regional sports network shared by the Orioles and the Nationals.

The passing of Ted Lerner, a significant figure in the Lerner family and the community, may have contributed to the decision to keep the Nationals off the market. Leonsis acknowledges the emotional attachment and complexity surrounding such assets, emphasizing the importance of a respectful and considerate approach to any potential sale.

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Leonsis views the purchase of the Nationals as a strategic move to enhance Monumental Sports Network’s programming and compete with major sports markets like New York and Los Angeles. Despite setbacks, such as the rejection of a proposed arena complex in Virginia, Leonsis remains committed to investing in DC, evident in recent agreements to modernize Capital One Arena and revitalize Chinatown.

Acquiring the Nationals would further consolidate Leonsis’s influence over the city’s sports landscape, complementing his existing ventures and future aspirations, such as potentially bringing a women’s hockey team to DC and contributing to Chinatown’s revitalization efforts.

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