Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane speaks during a news conference Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 in Houston, to announce his decision to put the baseball team on the market. McLane and his family have owned the club for 18 years. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Owner Drayton McLane held a press conference Friday afternoon to officially put the Houston Astros up for sale.

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"We're announcing today that we are going to put the Houston Astros up for sale. We have no buyer in mind, but this is something we are going to explore," said McLane.

He said there was no expected timeline for the sale.

"We're going to see where the market is and if it's not something we're pleased with, we'll pull it," McLane said. "There is no rush to this."

McLane said he has hired Allen & Company, an investment bank with experience in this sort of sale.

"We have what we think is a franchise that is very stable and MLB is very stable," he said.

This is not the first time he's considered selling the team. McLane has owned the Astros since 1992. The team could reportedly sell for as much as $800 million.

McLane said he, his wife Elizabeth and his family will continue to run the organization as they have been doing, including spending $12 million to install the second largest scoreboard in Major League Baseball.

"In 18 years, there are only six owners with more seniority than we have," McLane said. "Baseball has been a wonderful experience for us. It's been an important part of our lives."

However, he added that due to being one of the very few franchises in MLB with only one family as the owners, he was trying to move forward with estate planning.

He also discussed some of his favorite moments during his ownership including the community programs, construction of Minute Maid Park, hosting the 2004 All Star Game, and the team's first World Series appearance in 2005.

McLane said he believes General Manager Ed Wade and Manager Brad Mills have put together a foundation of a good young team moving forward, and that the team has made improvements in its minor league system.

In addition, he brought up the fact that the Astros are creating a new regional sports network in partnership with the Houston Rockets and Comcast that launches in October 2012.

We'll have a full report on Eyewitness News at 6pm.

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