Ken Hofmann, an owner with partner Ken Behring of the Seattle Seahawks from 1988 through 1997, died Sunday at 95. The Seahawks public relations department tweeted the news Tuesday evening.
While Behring era was fraught with controversy, many losses and an aborted move of the Seahawks franchise to Orange County for two weeks in 1996, Hofmann had success owning the Athletics MLB team in his native Oakland.
Hofmann bought the Athletics with partner Steve Schott in 1995 and ran the franchise through the 2005 season. The A’s won the American League West title in 2000, 2002 and 2003 and made the playoffs four years in a row during that stretch. In those seasons, the A’s averaged 98 wins, the second-best record in MLB.
In Hofmann’s 10 seasons, Oakland won the third-most games in the AL and seventh-most in MLB.
“The Oakland A’s are deeply saddened by the news of Ken Hofmann’s passing,” A’s president Dave Kaval said in a club statement. “He will be remembered for his commitment to our community and his passion for the A’s. His contributions to our organization are still felt today. We extend our condolences to the Hofmann family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
A graduate of St. Mary’s College, he served in World War II in the Merchant Marines. Like Behring, of Blackhawk, CA., Hofmann made his wealth as a California real estate developer. His company built more than 30,000 homes and apartments.
Behring and Hofmann bought the Seahawks from the Nordstrom family in 1988 for $80 million, and sold it to Paul Allen in 1997 for $200 million, after Allen won a special statewide election that provided tax funds to replace the Kingdome with what now is CenturyLink Field.
In an interview with KIRO-FM in 2016, John Nordstrom admitted selling was a mistake because Behring broke his promise about never attempting to move the team.
“I felt so badly that I’d sold the team to that guy,” he said. “I mean, I felt like a real jerk. Oh, my gosh, how could I do that?”
Hofmann is survived by his wife, Jean, and their two daughters.