Warriors' Joe Lacob Confirms Interest in Buying Angels: 'We're Going to Look at It'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 6, 2023

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob gestures to the crowd before the NBA Championship parade in San Francisco, Monday, June 20, 2022, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
AP Photo/John Hefti

Golden State Warriors governor Joe Lacob confirmed his interest in buying the Los Angeles Angels during The TK Show podcast with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami.

"It's been reported that we're looking at it, and that's true," Lacob said. He continued:

"I don't know what we're going to do yet. I grew up there, it's a little bit of an attraction for me, I was a peanut vendor for seven years. I lived a mile from that stadium. That stadium's been around for a long time. I've always felt that it had great possibilities.

"L.A.'s a huge market, and it's part of that L.A. overall market. And they've drawn over three million fans, I think, 17 of the last 20 years. We're going to look at it, but it wouldn't be the easiest thing in the world to do because it is not co-located like perhaps a local baseball team might be. But might be doable. So we'll see."

Angels owner Arte Moreno announced in August that he was exploring a sale of the team.

"Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is the time," Moreno wrote in part.

Steve Henson and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times mentioned Lacob as a potential buyer, writing that he's "looked into" purchasing the Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics over the past several decades.

"Can't answer this question that fast," Lacob said when asked by the Times about buying the Angels. "We look at good opportunities."

Forbes' Mike Ozanian valued the Angels at $2.2 billion in March, but the purchase price could certainly be higher with American professional sports franchises fetching top dollar.

For example, Forbes valued the Phoenix Suns at $2.7 billion in October, but mortgage lender Mat Ishbia just bought the team in December for $4 billion.

The 66-year-old Lacob, who was raised in Anaheim, is a managing partner at venture capital investing firm Kleiner Perkins. He led a group of investors to buy the Warriors in 2010 for $450 million.

Lacob's Warriors are now valued at $7 billion, a 25 percent change year over year. Forbes has the Dubs as the most valuable franchise in the NBA with a revenue of $765 million last year. The team is coming off its fourth NBA championship since 2015 and last year opened a brand-new stadium in San Francisco, the Chase Center.

As for the Angels, they are in need of someone who can lead the franchise out of the doldrums. The Halos have had a generational talent in outfielder Mike Trout for a decade and added another one in pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, but the team hasn't won a playoff game since 2009 or posted a winning season since 2014.

Lacob's track record with the Warriors, who made the playoffs just once since 1994 when he got to the Bay Area in 2010, brings hope that he could be that person to lead the Halos out of the second division.

For now, though, he remains the Warriors governor as the team continues its title defense.