CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Guardians have had discussions with David Blitzer, a part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, to become a minority owner with the Major League Baseball team.
Guardians owner Paul Dolan has been seeking a minority owner to boost finances for the small-market club since John Sherman, who had secondary shares in the franchise, left to buy the Kansas City Royals in 2019.
Following a report in Sportico, the Guardians, who recently switched their name from Indians, issued a statement linking them to Blitzer.
"While I can confirm meaningful discussions with David Blitzer about purchasing a minority ownership interest in the Cleveland Guardians, we can’t comment any further,” Dolan said.
Sportico said Blitzer's interest could lead to “a pathway to majority ownership.”
The Guardians have struggled to compete in the free-agent market, and a financial infusion could help the team be more aggressive in signing players as well as extending contracts to their own players.
The Dolan family purchased the franchise in 1999 from Dick Jacobs for an estimated $323 million.
Dolan recently hired Allen & Co. to assist in the search for a minority owner. The firm previously brought Dolan and Sherman together.
The Guardians recently reached a lease agreement with the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County that will keep them at Progressive Field for another 15 years.
The team is also in partnership with the city, county and state of Ohio to help fund $435 million of enhancements and improvements to their ballpark, which opened in 1994.
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Tom Withers, The Associated Press