Warren Buffett Talks Franchise Ownership, College World Series' Importance To Omaha
Berkshire Hathaway CEO WARREN BUFFETT phoned into ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” yesterday morning to discuss sports. ESPN's Mike Greenberg asked, “Have you ever thought of buying a professional sports team?” Buffett said, “When I was a kid, that is probably one of the things I thought about a lot because I knew I could never play. ... I thought if I ever got rich, the first thing I would do is try to buy the Redskins, but things change over time and I don’t live in a city with a pro team, a major league team." ESPN’s Mark Schlereth asked, "How important is the College World Series to Omaha, the city?” Buffett: “It's huge. We spent $140 million on the stadium just to take care of the College World Series and that is one of the reasons I bought a quarter of the Triple-A franchise 20 some years ago, to help ensure it stays in Omaha. Now we have this 25-year deal we entered into a few years ago. All of Omaha identifies with the College World Series. We love the teams that come. We see them in the restaurants and talk to them. Omaha would be a different city without the College World Series.” Schlereth asked, “You have had an opportunity to mentor a lot of prominent professional athletes. Who impressed you the most?” Buffett responded, “They’re smart guys and they get promoted a lot on financial things. So they’ve got everybody in the world telling them, ‘Let’s open up a restaurant together or do this or that real estate deal or something of the sort.’ But I went one-on-one with LEBRON (JAMES) some years ago in basketball and after he wiped up the court with me, we talked investments and he is a very, very smart guy. He knows what he wants to accomplish and there’s no baloney with him" ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 3/12).