CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
As Cleveland's Major League Baseball team enters a new era, it appears a new name might not be the franchise's only significant change. According to The Athletic's Zack Meisel and Daniel Kaplan, Cleveland Guardians owner Paul Dolan is actively seeking a new investor, which could ultimately lead to an eventual ownership change for the franchise.
News of Dolan seeking a new investor comes more than two years after the franchise's minority investor, John Sherman, left Cleveland to take a controlling interest in the Kansas City Royals. According to The Athletic, Dolan has retained New York-based investment bank Allen & Co., the same firm that first identified Sherman as an ownership candidate in Cleveland, to sell a 30-40 percent stake in the team.
While Sherman reportedly laid claim to a 30 percent ownership stake of the then-Indians, The Kansas City Star reported that he had initially agreed to a path that would see him become the controlling owner in Cleveland before leaving to buy the Royals in 2019. While Dolan is currently only seeking a minority investor for his team, any deal is likely to include a similar pathway to a controlling stake of the team, although that transition likely wouldn't occur for at least five years, according to The Athletic.
Paul Dolan took over for his father, Larry Dolan, as the then-Indians' controlling owner in 2013. The Dolan family purchased the franchise from the Jacobs family in 1999 for $323 million.
According to Forbes, the Guardians are currently valued at $1.16 billion. In addition to announcing its new name, which will take effect beginning in 2022, the team announced earlier this year that it has agreed to a new deal to extend Progressive Field's lease in Cleveland through 2036 that included $435 million in renovations for the stadium.