It has been announced that Nintendo of America will sell a majority of their interest in the Seattle Mariners, which will be purchased by other members of First Avenue Entertainment.
That will see the company “retain a 10 percent stake in the team,” and CEO Howard Lincoln, who had once served as chairman at Nintendo of America, will retire.
Touching on the reasoning behind the decision, Lincoln shared that he had been open with Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima that he felt it was right time for him to do so. Lincoln will however remain as a member of the FAE Board of Directors, and will represent Nintendo’s ownership interest.
The change was described as “a transition rather than a transaction” by newly appointed chairman and CEO John Stanton. He personally thanked Nintendo for being “a great supporter,” and that their employees continue to share their enthusiasm for the team at every match.
“Nintendo of America plans to sell a majority of its interest in the Mariners to other members of the current ownership group,” a Seattle Mariners spokesperson shared alongside a live news conference.
“Nintendo of America will retain a 10 percent stake in the team. Remainder of its holdings sold to other members of First Avenue Entertainment LLLP. Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln will retire from day-to-day operations, and John Stanton will replace him as Chairman and CEO.”
The transaction is subject to approval by Major League Baseball, and therefore won’t close until after August. But, as a result, there will be no longer be a majority partner.
“From the first day of our involvement nearly 24 years ago, Nintendo has had two goals for its investment in the Mariners,” Howard Lincoln commented. “First, we wanted to assure the permanence of the team in this great city. And on that count, I am proud and gratified that this agreement further solidifies that goal. On the other hand, I’m equally disappointed that we have not been able to host a World Series game for our fans.”
John Stanton added: “My goal and the goal of the entire Mariners ownership and management team is to win a World Series. I believe that the Mariners are well positioned to achieve that goal and it will be my honour to lead the organisation. I want to thank Howard for his leadership for the last 17 years and thank the members of the board and ownership for giving me this opportunity.”