Jun 6, 2024 - Sports

Mike Bloomberg joins bid to buy Timberwolves

Mike Bloomberg at a podium

Mike Bloomberg in 2023. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bloomberg Philanthropies

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has joined Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez in their yearslong attempt to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, according to The Athletic.

Why it matters: Bloomberg's estimated $106 billion net worth may assuage growing fan concern that Lore and A-Rod won't be able to pay for an expensive player roster and a new arena, as the Wolves come off their best season in 20 years.

Catch up fast: Current owner Glen Taylor in late March called off a deal to sell the teams to A-Rod and Lore that had been in the works for three years.

  • Taylor said the two had missed a deadline on a $600 million payment that would have given them an 80% controlling stake.
  • Citing unnamed sources, The Athletic reports that Bloomberg's investment would be for a portion of a $300 million payment needed to buy the final 20%, which would completely clear Taylor from the picture.

Reality check: Bloomberg's investment may be moot unless an arbitration board hearing the dispute, sides with Lore and A-Rod.

  • That could take most of the summer to resolve, according to The Athletic. A deal would also need to be approved by the NBA's board of governors.

The intrigue: Rodriguez recently told sports blogger David Shama that he's eyeing land near the Minneapolis Farmers Market for a new arena.

  • The Athletic reports that the group is developing plans for a privately financed arena in Minneapolis to open as soon as 2031.

What we're hearing: The most crucial piece of land near the Farmers Market is an eight-acre, two-building industrial complex owned by a trust of the late Bob Salmen.

  • Salmen's brother, Mike, told Axios on Thursday that the A-Rod/Lore group has not approached his family about the site. "We haven't heard anything from anybody."
  • Salmen's buildings have long-term leases with an event center and Minneapolis Public Schools, he said.
  • "They would probably have to pay our tenant something to leave."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a new comment from Mike Salmen.

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