In 2002, Tom Hicks famously sat on the deck of his yacht — less than a year after signing Alex Rodriguez to a $250 million contract, mind you — and excoriated fellow owners for not being more careful with their money. The levels of hypocrisy there were already off the charts, but it has only gotten better and better as time has gone on:
Creditors to Texas financier Tom Hicks’s Hicks Sports Group have declared the company in default, a measure that could eventually dislodge the Texas Rangers baseball club and Dallas Stars hockey franchise from his control.
The default notice is the strongest sign yet of the economic perils awaiting the country’s professional sports leagues, where owners have spent lavishly on player salaries. Many owners’ personal fortunes are also on the wane, creating uncomfortable standoffs between the owners and lenders.
As Rovell notes, there’s a six-month cooling off period of sorts before banks can take over the Rangers, but for all intents and purposes, the team is in foreclosure. What to do? Again, Rovell:
So the immediate solution for Hicks is to sell pieces of his teams to raise enough cash to remain the owner or eventually just hand them over to the banks. But, trust me, the banks don’t want the teams. They want the money . . . but the person who is buying has to have more cash than ever before. And someone who doesn’t have a sports team who is going to buy now is going to want majority ownership, if not immediately upon purchase, within a couple years.
If only there were someone who (a) lived in Dallas; (b) was interested in owning a sports team; and (c) had a lot of money.
(Thanks to Pete Toms for the heads up)