HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets announced Tuesday that a definitive agreement has been signed for the purchase of the NBA franchise by Houston businessman Tilman J. Fertitta, sole owner of the Landry’s restaurant empire and Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels.
The transaction, which includes operation of the Toyota Center Arena, requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, and Mr. Fertitta has no other partners in connection with the transaction.
This process started back in July, and it is truly unfortunate that this announcement is occurring amidst the aftermath of one of the biggest tragedies in the history of our great City.
“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a life-long dream come true,” said Fertitta, a native of Galveston and life-long resident of the Houston area. “Leslie Alexander has been one of the best owners in all of sports, and I thank him immensely for this opportunity. He has the heart of a champion. Lastly, out of respect for the NBA’s approval process, I can say no more other than I am overwhelmed with emotion to have this opportunity in my beloved city of Houston.”
He already sits atop the Landry’s restaurant empire, and the Golden Nuggets Casinos and Hotels. The Rocket’s acquisition is a solo venture, too.
The record-setting $2.2 billion transaction includes operating Toyota Center. The NBA board of governors still needs to sign off on the sale, but that seems like just a formality.
The Galveston native would take the reins from Les Alexander who’s owned the Rockets since 1993. They netted back-to-back championships during his tenure, when Fertitta was an advisory director for the team.
The process to purchase the team started back in July and led to all sorts of new owner speculation that included Beyonce, Mattress Mack and Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon.
“I am excited to welcome and pass the torch to Tilman. He is a Houstonian, business leader and committed to the success and excellence of the Rockets both on and off the basketball court,” said Leslie Alexander, the current Rockets owner. “I have personally known Tilman for over 24 years and don’t think I could have found anyone more capable of continuing the winning tradition of our Houston Rockets.”
With a restaurant mogul at the helm, maybe another championship will soon be on the menu!