It wasn’t expected to be contentious, and it wasn’t: Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Seattle Mariners and a minority stake in ROOT Sports NW from Nintendo of America to current minority investor First Avenue Entertainment (FAE), in a deal that values the team and the sports-network share at $1.4 billion.
The sale was approved yesterday; it is expected to be announced later today or tomorrow.
Nintendo will retain a 10 percent share of the Mariners. As part of the deal, Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln will retire from day-to-day operations, and John Stanton will replace him as Chairman and CEO, and as the designated Major League Baseball Control Person. Lincoln will still be associated with the team as a member of First Avenue Entertainment, while also representing Nintendo on the FAE Board of Directors. FAE was created by the Mariners and other investors to purchase ROOT Sports in 2013.