In a surprising move back in July, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander decided to put the team up for sale. Now, less than two months later, he has a buyer.  On Tuesday, the Rockets announced that the franchise has been sold to local businessman Tilman Fertitta. According to Adrian Wojnarowski the price tag will be a staggering $2.2 billion, setting a new record for the price of an NBA franchise. Via ESPN:

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has agreed to sell the team to Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta for $2.2 billion, a record-NBA franchise sales price, a league told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Fertitta confirmed the news himself on Twitter.

And the Rockets released this statement on their website. Via

The Houston Rockets today announced that a definitive agreement has been signed for the purchase of the NBA franchise by Houston businessman Tilman J. Fertitta, sole owner of the Landry's restaurant empire and Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels. The transaction, which includes operation of the Toyota Center Arena, requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, and Mr. Fertitta has no other partners in connection with the transaction.

The previous record was the $2 billion that Steve Ballmer spent to buy the Los Angeles Clippers back in 2014. 

Per Wojnarowski's report, this is not the first time that Fertitta has tried to buy the Rockets, as he was beat out by Alexander in 1993, for significantly less than he's reportedly paying now. 

An original investor in the NFL's Houston Texans, Fertitta offered $81 million to buy the Rockets in 1993, but the team was sold to Alexander for $85 million.

The acquisition is pending approval by the NBA's board of governors.