What if Saudi Arabia Purchased the New Orleans Saints & Pelicans?
The news of the PGA Tour merging with LIV Golf hit the sports world like a ton of bricks. Reading about it throughout the day, it apparently was inevitable, but certainly, no one and when I say no one saw it coming, I mean Tiger Woods, Rory McElroy or even Greg Norman.
And sure the details have to be worked out and there will be no more LIV Golf come 2024, but basically the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought the PGA Tour. They also have invested heavily into soccer and auto racing. That got me thinking, what could be next?
Someone, somewhere who owns an NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL organization has to be thinking, “Does anyone have a good phone number for the Public Investment Fund?” They could probably get the Oakland A’s or Phoenix Coyotes right now for a very good price.
I started thinking about NFL teams and their succession plans. Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots have Jonathan Kraft. Jerry Jones’ children Stephen and Charlotte appear to be ready to take over that franchise. And I’m sure there is a Halas ready to step in with the Chicago Bears.
But what about the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans? Would you care if the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund purchased them? We all remember the court battles between the Benson kids and Miss Gayle. And since then, Mrs. Benson has set up the succession plan for the franchises.
From FOX 8 - WVUE
The Saints and Pelicans owner said that while she hopes she has many years left, her succession plan includes selling both teams, with Lauscha in charge of the sale of the team and giving back to the community through the Gayle and Tom Benson Foundation.
As popular as American football is in the United States, basketball is a much more global sport. So while the Saints would cost much, much more, the Pelicans could be the more attractive acquisition.
And with Louisiana’s long ties and dependency to the oil and gas industry, would anyone really care if the Saudis purchased one or both franchises? Or would it be considered a perfect match?
Who knows? Maybe the PGA Tour is enough for Saudi Arabia. Golf is played around the globe and they just purchased the most popular tour in the world. But if they want to continue to buy sports franchises, could the Saints and or Pelicans could be next?