Today the sale of a majority of Nintendo of America’s (NOA) ownership interest in the Seattle Mariners to the other members of the franchise’s ownership group closed. The planned sale was announced earlier this year on April 27.
This completes the process in which NOA retains a 10% stake in First Avenue Entertainment LLLP (FAE), the limited partnership that owns the Mariners and a majority interest in ROOT SPORTS Northwest. While the percentage of ownership has shifted within the group as a result of this transaction, the members of the ownership remain exactly the same.
At this week’s quarterly owners meeting in Houston, Major League Baseball approved the sale, subject to closing.
As announced on April 27, Howard Lincoln today retires as Mariners (and FAE) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, positions he has held since September 27, 1999. Mr. Lincoln will continue to represent Nintendo as a board member. To keep the Mariners in Seattle and the Northwest, the group of owners, led by the late Hiroshi Yamauchi, then CEO of Nintendo Company Limited, came together to purchase the Mariners in 1992.
John Stanton today succeeds Mr. Lincoln as Chairman and CEO. MLB also has approved the appointment of Mr. Stanton as the designated Control Person for the Mariners. Mr. Stanton joined the Seattle Mariners ownership group in December, 2000, and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2016.
Born in Seattle and raised in Bellevue, WA, John Stanton is considered a wireless industry pioneer, co-founding three national wireless operators in the United States over the past three decades. Currently Chairman of Trilogy Partners, LLC, a private investment firm, he also serves on the boards of Columbia Sportswear, Microsoft Corporation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, is Chairman of Year Up, a non-profit program for youth in Seattle, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
John and his wife Terry Gillespie currently own indirect interests in the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA Pacific Coast League) and in the Walla Walla Sweets and Yakima Pippins of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League. He has been active in youth baseball in the area for over 15 years.
John said, “I care deeply and passionately about the game of baseball and about baseball fans in Seattle and the Northwest. Mariners fans have been so positive, so patient with the team, and we want to reward them with playoff and World Series Baseball here at Safeco Field. I want express my deepest appreciation to Howard Lincoln for his 17 years of leadership and a smooth transition in the last four months. The future of Mariners Baseball is bright. The right management team is in place and focused on winning. It is an honor to lead this franchise, and I am ready to get started and excited for the challenges ahead.”
The members of the Board of Directors now include John Stanton (Chairman), John Ellis, Buck Ferguson, Chris Larson, Howard Lincoln, Jeff Raikes and Frank Shrontz.