It’s For Real: John Sherman Buying the Royals

By Ian Ritter

The Kansas City Royals will soon have a new owner, after less than a week of speculation that long-time Kansas City businessman John Sherman near a deal to acquire the team.

Sherman, currently a minority owner of the Cleveland Indians, is buying the Royals with a group of investors, according to a team statement. The transaction is valued at $1 billion, according to reports. Seller David Glass is a former Walmart chief executive officer who bought the team in 2000 for $96 million from the estate of Royals Founder Ewing Kauffman. 

John Sherman

“John Sherman and his group far exceeded our hope for the next caretaker of Royals baseball. His love for Kansas City and the game of baseball is well documented as are his philanthropic endeavors in the surrounding communities,” said Glass, as part of the team’s announcement. “A native of this area, John has made a huge impact in our business community and is so passionate about baseball that he purchased an ownership stake in the Cleveland Indians three years ago to begin his relationship with this great game.”

The deal, subject to approval by Major League Baseball, will make Sherman the third owner since the team was brought back to Kansas City by Kauffman after the Kansas City Athletics departed for Oakland in 1967.

The purchase will undoubtedly enhance conversation about a new baseball stadium being built Downtown, something several leaders in the business community have encouraged for years. 

Sherman is CEO of Kansas City-based financial-services firm MLP Holdings. He founded Inergy Midstream in 1996 which went public in 2001 and was valued at $5 billion when it later merged with Texas-based Crestwood Holdings. He sits on the board of the combined companies, which is now Crestwood Equity Partners. Sherman is also on the board of electrical-utility company Evergy, as well as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

He purchased his ownership stake in the Indians in 2016 and serves as a vice chairman.