After 24 years, Nintendo of America is selling most of their shares in the Seattle baseball team.
Nintendo is selling its majority stake in Seattle Mariners baseball team
Nintendo of America has had a stake in the team since 1990, when they bought up the team to save them from needing to relocate. CEO Howard Lincoln (former chairman of Nintendo of America, age 76) is retiring, and the decision was made internally by Nintendo to sell the majority of their shares.
Ownership of the team transferred to Nintendo in 2004, at the behest of the late Hiroshi Yamauchi, the team’s owner up to that point.
“I’m very proud of playing a part in saving the Mariners for Seattle and the Pacific Northwest,” Lincoln said in his retirement speech, as reported by the Seattle Times.
“I feel very good about how our ownership group has stabilized this franchise to really ensure baseball will be here for generations to come.”
Nintendo will maintain a 10% stake in the team, while the rest will be made available to the team’s ownership group.
The Mariners are one of only two Major League teams to have never played in the World Series, and the 2015 series was the worst they’d ever had. Baseball fans will have to wait and see if this change in ownership turns their performance around.