When the world wants you, real estate mogul Mike Rowe can still afford to buy the NFL’s Rams
Mike Rowe has become a major celebrity in the sports world, and his $2.8 billion bid to buy a New Orleans Saints team that would have had the team in its own city has become the subject of an FBI investigation.
But the deal was all but dead when a federal judge last week ruled that the Saints would need a franchise to compete in the Super Bowl and that the sale of the franchise would not be allowed under the antitrust laws.
In the ruling, Judge John B. Levesque wrote that the bidding was “out of bounds” for the antitrust division and that Rowe, who also owns the Los Angeles Lakers, would have been “unduly burdened” if the Saints were not a major league team.
Levesque said that the bid was a “classic case of a bidding war” in which the NFL was seeking to prevent a rival team from competing in the league’s biggest event.
The NFL was represented by attorneys for Rowe and his wife, Susan.
Leveque also ruled that a judge can’t grant a preliminary injunction barring the sale or takeover of a team, which is a defense in antitrust cases.
The NFL had sought to block the deal, saying the bid violated antitrust laws because it would have allowed the Saints to be a competitor in the NFL playoffs and the Superbowl.
Rowe had tried to buy out his brother, Michael, who was a majority owner of the Saints, in the 1980s and 1990s.
He is the former CEO of the New Orleans Hornets, a team that was sold in the 2010 offseason to Comcast SportsNet.