The sale for the Washington Nationals is reportedly on hold.
But there was a bidder out there — one that fans of District sports teams are quite familiar with — that made a sizable offer.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, offered more than $2 billion to buy the Nationals. According to the Post, Leonsis made the offer late last year and also inquired about buying MASN — the regional sports network that airs games for the Nationals and Baltimore Orioles.
Washington’s complicated television rights are believed to be a large reason why the team has yet to be sold since the Lerner family announced last year that they would explore a sale of the Nationals. The Nationals and Orioles have been entangled in part of a years-long legal dispute over Washington’s share of local broadcast revenue.
Leonsis has familiarity with buying a regional sports network as he purchased NBC Sports Washington last year.
The Post reported that the Lerners and Leonsis remain in touch, but reported “it’s not clear” whether the Lerners rejected Leonsis’ $2 billion offer or simply did not respond to it.
In March, Sports Business Journal reported that Nationals’ sale was “on pause” for 2023 with the team expected to resume the process the following offseason.