McLane might get asking price for Astros

Published May. 14, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Once Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane signs off on the sales-purchase agreement next week that begins the transfer of ownership of the franchise to local businessman Jim Crane, McLane will have come very close to his original asking price of $800 million, reported Saturday.

Baseball sources confirmed McLane will receive $680 million from the group headed by Crane.

However, McLane's total take is far more than that.

Sources said he received $93 million for his portion of the regional sports network that the Astros formed with the Houston Rockets and Comcast.

Comcast will manage the network, which begins operation for the Rockets in 2012 and for the Astros in 2013.

The Astros did not allow the Comcast payment to lessen the negotiated sales price with Crane, so McLane's total take is $773 million, sources said.

McLane bought the Astros in 1992 for $117 million.


On Friday, McLane said he and Crane had a deal on the sale of the franchise pending approval of Major League Baseball.

"We have an understanding, and Jim's an honorable person and I am too," McLane said. "We have an overall agreement, but things come up.

"Lawyers draw up complicated contracts and we have to get all of those portions of it done."

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