Red Sox Owners Fenway Sports Group Open to Buying NBA, NHL FranchiseApril 28, 2021
The owners of the Boston Red Sox aren't limiting their pro sports interest solely to Major League Baseball.
Speaking in a Sportico webinar Tuesday, Fenway Sports Group limited partner Sam Kennedy said the organization that counts LeBron James and Maverick Carter among its partners would happily buy an NBA or NHL franchise should one become available.
Said Kennedy, who is also president and CEO of the Red Sox (h/t Boston Globe's Michael Silverman):
"We're a huge admirer of the National Basketball Association and obviously the National Hockey League, it represents a natural place for Fenway Sports Group to look but we've not had any specific discussions or negotiations with any local market. But we have, as we've done over our two decades here, connected with [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver and his team and [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman and [deputy commissioner] Bill Daly just to let them know that at some point we'd love to explore further opportunities in their league."
The NHL has added two new franchises in recent years with the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken, but the NBA hasn't expanded since the Charlotte Hornets rejoined in 2004.
Fenway Sports Group already owns the Red Sox, Liverpool, Fenway Park, Anfield and 50 percent of Roush Fenway Racing. As the cohort embarks on what Kennedy called "Fenway 3.0," the group is planning expansion efforts wherever viable.
"[Fenway 3.0] is going to be about tripling down on new and different teams, leagues, revenues, maybe here in North America, maybe abroad," Kennedy said. "But I think we'll see more of the same, which is a commitment to blue-chip property and getting blue-chip management to come in and operate as we go forward."
With a recent addition of $750 million from RedBird Capital Partners, FSG has plenty of cash on hand.
Finding the right club to purchase is another story. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx are being sold to a group including former MLB star Alex Rodriguez. In Boston, Jeremy Jacobs has held control of the Bruins since 1975, while Wyc Grousbeck's group has controlled the Celtics since 2002.
James has long talked about his desire to own an NBA franchise. As a member of Fenway Sports Group, that dream may come true soon.