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Tsai, who built his fortune as co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is expected to pay more than $700 million to buy the Barclays Center from outgoing Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the New York Post reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The NBA generally prefers team owners to also have control over their team’s home arena.
The $700 million transaction is separate from Tsai’s $1.35 billion deal to buy out Prokhorov’s remaining 51 percent ownership stake in the Nets. Tsai’s total investment in the Nets is set to exceed $3 billion, including the $1 billion he paid to buy his initial 49 percent stake in the franchise.
“We are committed to maintaining Barclays Center’s iconic status by bringing together culture, community, and entertainment for our fans and everyone in New York,” Tsai said in a statement confirming his purchase on Friday.
The Nets’ $2.35 billion purchase price set a new record for U.S. professional sports teams. Casino magnate Tilman Fertitta paid $2.2 billion to purchase the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 2017, and hedge fund manager David Tepper paid $2.2 billion to buy the NFL’s Carolina Panthers last year.
Prokhorov reportedly paid $875 million to buy the Nets and $825 million to buy the Barclays Center.
Brooklyn Nets representatives did not publicly disclose financial terms for the transactions. Tsai’s purchase is set to be finalized in the coming weeks, pending expected approval by the NBA’s board of governors.