An ownership change to the Kansas City Royals is moving forward, as Major League Baseball owners unanimously approved a sale from David Glass and his family to a local group led by John Sherman.
The sale of the Royals has been taking shape for some time, as it was revealed in late August that the Sherman-led group had reached an agreement to buy the team from Glass and his family. At the time, MLB was not expected to weigh in on the pending transaction until the November 20-21 Owners Meetings in Arlington, TX, and ultimately followed that timeline with owners voting unanimously on Thursday morning to approve the sale. Technically, the transaction has not closed yet, but that is expected to happen early next week, according to an announcement issued by the Royals and MLB on Thursday. Terms of the sale were not disclosed in that announcement, though multiple media reports have pegged the sale price at about $1 billion.
“First, I’d like to express my gratitude to David Glass and his family for all that he has done for Kansas City, for Major League Baseball — and for giving us an opportunity to do this in our hometown,” Sherman said in a press statement. “Second, my thanks to Paul Dolan for being a great partner in Cleveland; I look forward to continuing to be his partner in Major League Baseball. Finally, I want to thank the Commissioner’s Office and my fellow MLB owners for their confidence and trust.”
Sherman and his investment group will represent the third owners of the Royals franchise, which began play as an expansion team in 1969. Glass, the former president and CEO of Walmart, and his family acquired the Royals for $96 million in 2000 from original owner Ewing Kauffman, who originally secured the expansion franchise.
The sale is notable in that Sherman comes to the Royals with plenty of experience in MLB, as he has been an owner and vice chairman of the Cleveland Indians since 2016, serving as a member of the MLB Audit Committee. His business background includes starting energy companies LGP Services Group and Inergy LP, based in Kansas City, Missouri. Additionally, he has been involved in local philanthropic circles, serving as past chair of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and the Truman Library Institute. He is also a trustee of both the Kauffman Foundation and the National World War I Museum and Memorial.