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Miriam Adelson intends to buy majority ownership in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks

In a statement released Wednesday by Las Vegas Sands, Adelson said her family has a ‘binding purchase agreement’ with the team.
Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz
EconomyGamingSports
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Las Vegas Sands controlling shareholder Miriam Adelson confirmed Wednesday that she and her family have a binding purchase agreement to acquire the majority ownership of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

In a statement released by the company, Adelson said they expect to close the transaction by the end of the year, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and approval of the NBA Board of Governors. In the statement, Adelson said she would have the right to serve as the governor for the team.

“Through our commitment and additional investment in the team, we look forward to partnering with Mark Cuban to build on the team’s success and legacy in Dallas and beyond,” the statement read.

The confirmation comes less than 24 hours after Las Vegas Sands said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Adelson was selling a $2 billion stake in the casino company and that proceeds from the sale would be used to purchase a professional sports franchise.

A few hours after the filing,  Sportico reported the Adelson family was buying a majority stake in the Mavericks, but Cuban would continue to retain operational control of the team. The story was also reported by the Dallas Morning News.

According to the filing, the sale would reduce Adelson’s stake in the casino company — which is based in Las Vegas but only has active casino operations in Macau and Singapore — by more than 4 percent.

“The Dallas Mavericks are one of the world’s most successful and recognizable sports franchises,” according to the statement. “The team has won an NBA championship, has a long history of attracting international superstars and has been supported by a dedicated and passionate fanbase and leadership group led by Mark Cuban.”

Adelson, 78, is the widow of Sheldon Adelson, the founder of Las Vegas Sands who died in 2021. She has no role with the corporate side of the company, though her son-in-law Patrick Dumont is president of Las Vegas Sands and a member of the company’s board. Personally and through her trust, she controls 56.4 percent of Las Vegas Sands.

She is ranked at No. 24 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $32.3 billion. 

Sheldon Adelson was one of the largest donors to Republican candidates, but Miriam Adelson has seemingly cut back on political contributions since her husband’s death. However, she reportedly met with GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley at a Republican Jewish Coalition event at The Venetian in November. 

In February 2022, less than a year after Sheldon Adelson’s death, Las Vegas Sands sold The Venetian, Palazzo and Venetian Expo Center to private equity firm Apollo Global Management and real estate investment trust VICI Properties for $6.25 billion.

Las Vegas Sands said in a statement it plans to repurchase up to $250 million of the shares Adelson is selling.  

Following the sale, the Adelson family is expected to retain roughly 52 percent of Las Vegas Sands.

Professional sports has only recently been on the Adelson family’s radar. 

Last summer, her son Matan Adelson led a group that invested $20 million for a 90 percent controlling ownership in Hapoel Jerusalem, a professional basketball team in Israel.

The only involvement in professional sports the Adelson family had in the U.S. was in bringing the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas in 2017. Sheldon Adelson planned to invest $650 million in what is now Allegiant Stadium.

However, he pulled his funding after the Nevada Legislature approved $750 million in room tax money as part of the venue’s funding package, even though Adelson supported a .88 percent levy on Strip hotel rooms.

Las Vegas has become a focus for the professional sports world in the last few years.

The Raiders officially moved to Las Vegas for the 2020 NFL season, which has led the NFL to award Super Bowl LVIII to Allegiant Stadium in February. 

In 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team in the National Hockey League, began play at T-Mobile Arena. 

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball has approved the relocation of the Oakland A’s to a planned $1.5 billion stadium on the Strip that is targeted for completion in 2028. 

Raiders owner Mark Davis bought the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces in 2021, and the team has won consecutive league titles.

The NBA has reportedly considered expanding to Las Vegas and entertainment venue developer Tim Leiweke, the CEO of Oak View Group, is planning to build a 20,000-seat arena at Las Vegas Boulevard and Blue Diamond Road that is being designed with NBA specifications. The arena is part of a $10 billion resort and entertainment complex. 

Scott Goldstein, the son of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein is leasing the land to Leiweke.

Updated at 11:31 a.m. on 11/29/2023 to include confirmation of purchase by the Adelson family.

Updated at 9:15 a.m. on 11/29/2023 to reflect the purchase of the Dallas Mavericks.

Updated at 4:17 p.m. on 11/28/2023 to include additional information.

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