The Memphis Grizzlies have officially been sold to a new ownership led by Robert J. Pera from former owner Michael Heisley for $377 million and Pera wanted fans to know that neither he nor the rest of the group have any intentions to relocate the team to other city.
Pera said at a press conference to announce the selling of the team becoming official “The Grizzlies are here to stay in Memphis”.
The team relocated to Memphis from Vancouver prior to the start of the 2001-02 NBA season and the franchise has experienced its greatest success in Tennessee’s largest city.
The ownership group also includes Memphis native and former NBA star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, entertainer Justin Timberlake and Ashley Manning who is the wife of NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Pera has guaranteed that the team will remain in Memphis for at least another 15 seasons due to provisions within the bill of sale for the team that include a $100 million penalty if the team attempts to move before 15 years and also first right of refusal rights for any local owner to purchase the team if Pera decides to move them.
The Grizzlies have reached the NBA playoffs for consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history in the past two seasons and are truly becoming one of the cities greatest attractions in light of their success. Memphis is set to open up their season on Wednesday night versus the team who eliminated them from the postseason last year, the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.