Robert Pera Deal Would Keep Grizzlies In Memphis 15 More Years

Robert Pera, the prospective owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, has agreed to a series of provisions that will more or less ensure the team stays in Memphis for another 15 years.

Pera agreed to a deal with a group of local investors who own 30 to 35 percent of the team to make sure the franchise keeps Memphis as its long-term home:

Pera has agreed to three provisions: 1) a $100 million penalty if the team is moved, 2) a right of first refusal under which the local owners will be able to match any offer Pera receives to sell the team and 3) the right for the locals to buy the team from Pera at the current price if he wants to move it. All provisions are in effect for the next 15 years.

Those three clauses should make moving the team prohibitive, a key for a franchise that has already moved once in its relatively young existence. As the team has improved with playoff berths in the past two seasons, the FedEx Forum's passionate home crowd has made it one of the league's most difficult places to play. That fanbase can rest assured: the Grizzlies likely won't leave anytime soon.

Pera, who agreed to purchase the Grizzlies from Robert Heisley in June, still needs to pass vetting by the NBA's powers-that-be in order to become the team's official owner.

For more on the Grizzlies, check out Straight Outta Vancouver.

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