16 Finance Kings And The Sports Teams They Own

Lester Crown and the Chicago BullsLester Crown and the Chicago Bulls

An awesome status symbol for Wall Street financiers is owning a sports team. Imagine the perks that come with the purchase of a sports team: the best seats at every game, hiring authority, cheerleaders, prestige.

For many of these guys, owning a team is the second best thing they can do after they can no longer play on the team.

Take Phil Falcone for example. A leg injury took him, a former hockey player, off the ice for good. But now he has the next best thing: the Minnesota Wild.

He brings his love for the game into the office, too. Harbinger has two funds named after hockey jargon (Blue Line and Breakaway), a conference room named  “Blackhawk” and Falcone’s office is named “The Wild.”

Check which Wall Streeters own each sports team >

Mikhail Prokhorov and the NJ Nets

Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire chairman of Polyus Gold, Russia's largest gold producer, and President of Onexim Group, owns 80% of the NJ Nets.

Prokhorov only recently bought the team in September of last year. Now he's the primary owner alongside part owners Jay Z and Bruce Ratner.

Since then he's been moving forward with plans to build a new arena for the Nets in Brooklyn. The stadium will be called 'Barclays centre.'

Team value: ~$325 million (in 2007)

This season's record: 7-59

Stuart Sternberg and the Tampa Bay Rays

Stuart Sternberg, a retired Goldman Sachs trader, owns a controlling stake in the Tampa Bay Rays with two partners, Matthew Silverman and Andrew Friedman.

Team value: ~$290 million (in 2008)

Last season's record: 84-78 (points)

Dermot Desmond and Celtic F.C.

Desmond is the head of International Investment and Underwriting, a private equity firm which he founded. He owns approximately 37% of Celtic F.C.

Team value: $218 million

This season's record: 16-6-6 (currently in second)

Photo: The Globe Pub (Desmond on the right with Celtic Supporter)

Keith Mccullough and the Phoenix Coyotes

Keith Mccullough, the retired hedge fund manager of Falconhedge who is now the owner of hedgeye.com, doesn't own the Phoenix Coyotes yet, but he wants to.

When we spoke to him a couple of months ago, he thought the deal would finalise closer to March.

Team value: ~$142 million (in 2008)

This season's record: 7-3-0

Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers

Dan Gilbert is the founder and current chairman of Quicken Loans, which is the nation's largest online home lender, according to his website. Gilbert bought the Cavs in 2005.

Team value: $375 million (at time of Gilbert's acquisition)

This season's record: 52-15

Stanley Druckenmiller and the Pittsburgh Steelers

Stanley Druckenmiller, the billionaire hedge fund manager of Duquesne Capital Management, almost bought a controlling stake in the Steelers in September 2009. Then he bowed out. (Bold text added later - sorry for the error!)

Team value: ~$800 million.

Last season's record: 9-7-0

Ellis Short and Sunderland A.F.C.

Ellis Short owns Lone Star Funds, a private equity fund with $24 billion in capital. The American took control of Sunderland in September of 2008.

Team value: Owns 30% stake in Sunderland, which was valued at 10 million pounds ($15 million) in 2006.

This season's record: 7-10-12 (currently in 14th)

Picture: Ellis Short on the right

Phil Falcone and the Minnesota Wild

Phil Falcone, the billionaire hedge fund manager of Harbinger, is a minority owner of the Minnesota Wild.

No surprise there - he's a huge hockey fan. Always has been. He played in high school, on the team at Harvard, and even signed on to play professionally with Malmo (a Swedish team).

Team value: ~$210 million

This season's record: 4-4-2

Carson Yeung Ka Sing and Birmingham City F.C.

Carson Yeung supposedly made his fortune in penny stocks, then advanced to the gambling industry, before buying Birmingham City F.C. in August 2009.

Team value: 81.51 million pounds ($123.82 million)

This season's record: 12-8-9 (currently in 8th)

Tom Hicks and the Texas Rangers

Tom Hicks co-founded the investment firm, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and is chairman of Hicks Holdings LLC, which owns and operates Hicks Sports Group. Hicks Sports Group is the company that owns the Texas Rangers sold the Texas Rangers in January, owns the Dallas Stars, Mesquite Championship Rodeo and 50 per cent of the English football club Liverpool FC.

Team value: ~$400 million (in 2008)

Last season's record: 87-75 (points)

Jeff Vinik and the Tampa Bay Lightning

Jeff Vinik, who runs the Boston-based hedge fund, Vinik Asset Management, bought the Tampa Bay Lightning in early March 2010 for around $110 million.

Team value: $170 million

This season's record: 2-7-1

Randy Lerner and Aston Villa F.C.

Former director of MBNA, Randy Lerner bought Aston Villa F.C. in August 2006.

Team value: $190 million

This season's record: 12-10-5 (currently in 7th)

Picture: Aston Villa Disabled Supporters (Lerner is on the left, meeting one of the members)

Joe Lewis and Tottenham Hotspur

Joe Lewis, the billionaire owner of the Tavistock Group, also owns the English soccer team, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

He's also connected to golf's biggest sports star, Tiger Woods. Lewis is also the real estate developer behind Isleworth, the Orlando community where Tiger Woods lives.

Team value: $243 million

This season's record: 15-7-7 (currently in fourth)

Thomas S. Rickets and the Chicago Cubs

Tom Rickets is CEO of Incapital LLC and on the board of TD Ameritrade. He acquired the Cubs in January of 2009.

Team value: Over $1 Billion

Last season's record: 83-78

Photo: Chicago Cubs Online (Rickets Family, Tom second from left)

Lester Crown and the Chicago Bulls

Billionaire financier Lester Crown owns the Chicago Bulls and part of the New York Yankees.

Crown is most famous for running General Dynamics and Henry Crown & Co (Henry is Lester's late father).

Team value: ~$500 million (in 2008)

This season's record: 31-34

John W. Henry and the Boston Red Sox

John Henry made his millions in futures and foreign exchange, specifically for John W. Henry and Company. He led the group which purchased Red Sox in 2002.

Team value: $833 million

Last season's record: 95-67

Now Check Out The Richest Hedge Fund Managers

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