If Liberty Media decides to sell the Braves, billionaire Mark Cuban said he wouldn’t make an offer.
“I like franchises that need a lot of help,” the iconoclastic Dallas Mavericks owner said in an email Saturday. “The Braves have a great franchise.”
Cuban recently looked into buying the Los Angeles Dodgers, but said the asking price of $1 billion to $1.2 billion was too high. He lost a bidding war for the then-bankrupt Texas Rangers in 2010, and expressed interest in buying the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
A recent poll in an Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Braves blog asked fans if they would like to see Cuban try to buy the Braves. Ninety-five percent of nearly 8,000 people who responded voted yes.
“I’m flattered by the fans’ response,” Cuban said via email. “While I respect the amazing tradition and history of the Braves, and ATL is a great sports town, it’s not a franchise I would pursue.”
Cuban, 52, prefers to buy franchises in some need and turn them into winning, profit-making ventures. He demonstrated with the Mavericks that he was willing to lose many millions of dollars initially in order to turn the franchise around.
The Mavs are reigning NBA champions and one of the basketball’s most popular franchises.
The Braves were sold by Time Warner to Liberty Media in 2007. As per terms of the agreement, Liberty must retain ownership at least until the current collective bargaining agreement expires on Dec. 11.
Liberty has not announced any intentions to sell the franchise, but there’s been much speculation the group will sell at some point in the not-too-distant future because the Braves are not considered an important asset by Liberty.
In March, Forbes Magazine ranked the Braves 13th out of 30 teams with a value of $482 million.