Cuban ‘set to sell’ Mavericks to Las Vegas Sands owners

Featured image credit: Drew Mentzer on Unsplash

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is set to sell a majority stake in the NBA basketball franchise to Miriam Adelson and The Miriam Adelson Trust, principal stockholder of casino and resort giant Las Vegas Sands, according to multiple reports.

Las Vegas Sands announced yesterday (Tuesday) the launch of a proposed secondary public offering of $2bn (£1.57bn/€1.82bn) of shares of its common stock by Adelson and the Trust. Adelson is one of the richest people in the world, with this stock sale representing around 10% of her stake in the company formerly owned and run by her late husband, Sheldon Adelson.

Las Vegas Sands said in an SEC filing: “We have been advised by the selling stockholders that they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise pursuant to a binding purchase agreement, subject to customary league approvals.”

The Mavericks are yet to officially comment on the reports, but The Athletic said Cuban’s sale of a majority stake would value the franchise at around $3.5bn. However, crucially any such deal would see Cuban, one of the most high-profile owners in the NBA, retain shares in the team and full control of basketball operations.

Cuban acquired the Mavericks in 2000 for $285m. Adelson’s skill in real estate and arena development, as well as launching casino gaming and entertainment in Dallas were appealing factors in Cuban’s sale, The Athletic said, citing league sources.

Indeed, Cuban told the Dallas Morning News last year that he intended to partner with Las Vegas Sands to develop a casino and resort in Dallas that would also include a potential new arena for the Mavericks. The state of Texas currently does not have legalised sports betting.

The Mavericks have played at American Airlines Center since the arena opened in 2001. There have also been long-standing reports concerning an NBA franchise being established in Las Vegas.

T-Mobile Arena opened in April 2016, bringing NHL ice hockey to the city in the shape of the Vegas Golden Knights. Allegiant Stadium hosted its first NFL game for the Las Vegas Raiders in September 2020, while there are also plans to develop a ballpark that will house the proposed relocation of MLB’s Oakland Athletics.

All Net Resort & Arena, the long-proposed $5bn project for Las Vegas, last week appeared to be dead in the water after Clark County Commission refused to grant another extension to its land use permit.

Envisioned as a non-gaming, business, and family-friendly destination, All Net Resort & Arena was to be located at a site on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. It has been developed by Dribble Dunk, owned by former NBA player Jackie Robinson, and designed by Cuningham Group.

The complex was due to be anchored by a multi-purpose arena featuring a retractable roof, which would have a 23,000-seat capacity for basketball and 25,000 seats for concerts and boxing events. It was hoped that an NBA franchise could ultimately be attracted to the arena.