Houston businessman Tilman J. Fertitta, the owner of the Landry’s restaurant chain and Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels, has bought the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion.
The NBA franchise and Fertitta announced the sale on Tuesday. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. However, the New York Times reported the team was bought for $2.2 billion, the highest price ever paid for an NBA team.
The acquisition, which requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors, includes the operation of the Toyota Center Arena.
The deal to buy the Houston Rockets began in July, according to Fertitta, native of Galveston, Texas and life-long resident of the Houston area.
“It is truly unfortunate that this announcement is occurring amidst the aftermath of one of the biggest tragedies in the history of our great City,” Fertitta and the Houston Rockets said in a joint statement.
Hurricane Harvey, which hit southeastern Texas on Aug. 25, dropped more than 50 inches of rain in the area, causing widespread flooding that damaged tens of thousands of homes and displaced more than 1 million people. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott estimated damage from Hurricane Harvey at $150 billion to $180 billion.
Les Alexander announced in July that he planned to sell the Houston Rockets as the value of sports franchises surged. Alexander bought the Rockets for $85 million in 1993.
Last month, reports emerged that pop superstar Beyonce, a Houston native, was considering an investment in the Rockets. Fertitta, who is also the host of CNBC reality show “Billion Dollar Buyer,” said he will be the sole owner of the team.