How Can You Invest In Your Favorite MLB Team?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock (10077221f)A glove used by Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player Jackie Robinson is displayed at the exhibit "In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend" at the Museum of City of New York in New York.
Seth Wenig/AP / Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock

Nearly three years ago, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes became a minority owner of the city’s baseball team, the Royals. While the stake he bought and the price he paid never has been disclosed, Mahomes – he of a half-billion-dollar contract and millions more in endorsements – can afford to write a pretty sizable check.

“I’m honored to become a part owner of the Kansas City Royals,” he said in a news release from the Chiefs in July 2020. “I love this city and the people of this great town. This opportunity allows me to deepen my roots in this community, which is something I’m excited to do.”

If you’re a big fan of Major League Baseball — or if you’re an investor looking to pick up shares of something a bit different — you might have wondered if there’s a way to own MLB stock, even if you don’t have Mahomes’ money. After all, some sports teams, like the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, actually have offered ownership shares in the past, and the Atlanta Braves joined them this year.

Here are some of the admittedly limited options that investors can take if they want to own a portion of an MLB team.

The Braves Take a Big Step

Liberty Media Corp., owners of the Braves, announced last fall that it would spin off the Braves and associated properties into a publicly traded company in the first half of 2023.

Investing for Everyone

With that action, fans and investors alike would be able to buy into the Braves without taking a stake into Liberty’s other properties, including Sirius XM Holdings Inc. and the Formula One Group.

Braves Holdings, LLC, now is set for trading. The Series A and C Liberty Braves common stock is on the Nasdaq market with the stock symbols BATRA and BATRK, respectively. The Series B is on the OTC Markets with the symbol BATRB.

Private Equity

One way to get involved with a sports team, like an MLB team, is probably through a private equity firm. Your most direct way into shares of an MLB team may have to be through investment in a separate firm. Galatioto Sports Partners, for example, raises capital from investors and uses it in a variety of manners, including potentially investing in sports clubs. Other private equity funds may also be available for investment by private individuals. However, access to private equity firms is often limited and may require a sizable initial investment to get started.

Indirect Ownership

If you don’t have access to a private equity fund, or if you can’t raise the minimum investment required, you might consider buying shares of companies that own sports teams, including MLB clubs. Nintendo of America owns 10% of MLB’s Seattle Mariners, and it’s also publicly traded. If a Canadian ball club is more to your liking, you can indirectly own part of the Toronto Blue Jays via an investment in publicly traded Rogers Communications, which owns the team. While buying stocks of parent companies won’t give you direct ownership shares in a major league team, it may be the easiest way for you to own some MLB stock as a small, private investor.

Investing for Everyone

Franchise or Fractional Shares

Most sports teams are franchises, which means that there may be opportunities in the future where various teams will sell ownership shares to the public. The Boston Red Sox, for example, were in talks all the way until 2021 to bring shares to the public via a special partnership. Under the proposed arrangement, Fenway Sports Group LLC, which owns both the Boston Red Sox and the English soccer club Liverpool FC, were to be combined under a special purpose acquisition corporation known as RedBall Acquisition Corporation, but a deal never occurred.

But that doesn’t mean a similar deal won’t arise one day. If it makes financial sense for a Major League Baseball team to issue shares in itself going forward, there may be future opportunities for investors.

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Jami Farkas contributed to the reporting of this article.

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