Inching Toward Wizards Sale

Ted Leonsis is one step closer to sports mogul status with news that the family of late Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin has agreed to “major economic terms” to sell its majority stake in the NBA team.

“We join our mother Irene, the sole principal owner of the franchise today, in congratulating Ted Leonsis and his Lincoln Holdings partners on reaching this near final step in a long negotiation,” sons Robert and James Pollin said in a statement.

Leonsis, who already owns the NHL’s Washington Capitals, was Pollin’s business partner for years and currently holds a 44 percent stake in the Wizards and the team’s home, Verizon Center, in Washington, D.C.

Wizards holdings were expected to transfer smoothly to Leonsis following Pollin’s death in November, but the transaction seemed to slow to a crawl during discussions over the value of the assets.

Sources have reportedly pegged the value of the Wizards and Verizon Center at $550 million.

The deal, which still requires approval of NBA owners and the U.S. Justice Department, would allow Leonsis to begin directing revenue from the Verizon Center to the teams, according to the Washington Post.