Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils co-owner David Blitzer has a deal in place to add another team to his portfolio: Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake.
Blitzer will become the controlling owner of the club in a deal that also includes the Real Monarchs, which will join MLS’ coming lower-division league MLS NEXT Pro in 2022, and Rio Tinto stadium.
Arctos Sports Partners, which recently became the first private equity investor with stakes in NHL teams, is also involved in the transaction.
The deal will put Blitzer in rare territory among sports owners. In addition to the Devils and 76ers, Blitzer has equity in:
- The Pittsburgh Steelers
- The Premier League’s Crystal Palace
- Bundesliga’s FC Augsburg
- The New York Yankees’ triple-A affiliate Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
- The Belgian Jupiler Pro League’s Waasland-Beveren
He is also nearing the purchase of a 35% stake in MLB’s Cleveland Guardians.
The Hot MLS Market
With soccer growing in the U.S., which is set to host the World Cup in 2026, MLS teams have been hot commodities as of late.
The Houston Dynamo and the NWSL’s Houston Dash were sold to Ted Segal for an estimated $400 million in May 2020, and the Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, bought Orlando City SC, the Orlando Pride, and their stadium for between $400 million and $450 million.
The league is seeking around $300 million annually in its next media rights deal.