Robert Sarver, shot of Suns-Bucks score
Source: NBA

Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver Is Riding the Wave After Team’s Win

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Jul. 8 2021, Published 4:32 a.m. ET

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and his wife, Penny Sanders, should be pretty excited about their team’s victory in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals.

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The Suns defeated the Milwaukee Bucks last night with a score of 118 to 105. The next game is tomorrow.

The last time the Suns made the NBA finals was in 1993, long before Sarver bought the team in 2004 and even before Sarver and Sanders were married in 1996. The team has never won a championship title.

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Robert Sarver has been married to his wife for 25 years

Sarver and Sanders have been married since 1996. The couple met in Scottsdale, Ariz., four years before they decided to tie the knot. A native of Kansas City, Sanders moved to Arizona after graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1990. She was working at Prentice-Hall when she met Sarver.

robert sarver phoenix suns
Source: NBA
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When the couple met, Sarver was well on his way to becoming one of the wealthiest people in Arizona. As the son of prominent Tucson businessman Jack Sarver, Robert Sarver started working for his father’s savings and loan company when he was only 16 years old.

After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Sarver founded the National Bank of Tucson in 1984. The bank expanded and became the National Bank of Arizona, the largest independent bank in the state. Ten years later, Sarver sold the Arizona bank and bought another one, this time in San Diego.

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In 2003, Sarver joined Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL) as the company’s chairman, president, and CEO. He's still executive chairman for the company.

How Robert Sarver made his money

While he was selling and buying community bank chains, Sarver was also involved with real estate company Southwest Value Partners, which he helped co-found in 1990. One of the company’s largest assets was the Emerald Plaza in San Diego. In 2004, Southwest Value sold the Emerald Plaza along with a couple of other San Diego buildings for $274.5 million.

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The money Sarver made from the sale of the San Diego buildings wasn’t even close to the record $401 million he paid for the Phoenix Suns in 2004. The lifelong sports fan also bought the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team and Spanish professional football team RCD Mallorca.

Source: CNBC YouTube
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What's Robert Sarver’s net worth?

Altogether, Sarver has accumulated a net worth of $400 million. He has donated some of his wealth to his alma mater, the University of Arizona, to fund the Sarver Heart Center in his father’s honor.

Robert Sarver netted over $19 million on the sale of his Arizona home

The Sarver-Sanders family also got a boost in income on the 2019 sale of their Arizona home. The Paradise Valley home, which had over 28,000 square feet on five acres, sold for $19.25 million. It was the highest price ever paid for a single-family home in the state.

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Dyal HomeCourt Partners buys a minority stake in the Suns

While basketball fans were watching the Suns win the first NBA final game, Sarver was inking a deal to give Dyal HomeCourt Partners a minority stake in the team. A division of alternative asset manager Blue Owl (OWL), HomeCourt was created to offer investors a part of the NBA. The Suns deal is its first investment.

"The injection of institutional capital into the NBA will be a tremendous benefit to the league, and its owners and the Suns are proud to be Dyal HomeCourt's first investment.  We look forward to a fruitful relationship with the Dyal team moving forward," Sarver said in a statement.


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