Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith still appears to be a frontrunner to buy MLS club Real Salt Lake.
Smith toured the facilities owned by Real Salt Lake’s parent company Utah Soccer Holdings in September, but his interest in RSL came into question after he purchased the Jazz for $1.66 billion in October.
Utah Soccer Holdings owner Dell Loy Hansen has since sold the National Women’s Soccer League’s Utah Royals — which will relocate to Kansas City.
If a sale for Real Salt Lake can go as smoothly as the deal for the Jazz, Smith thinks “that would be great,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Smith is the co-founder of Utah-based software company Qualtrics and has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion.
Hansen reportedly put a $500 million price tag on Utah Soccer Holdings in September. Real Salt Lake was valued at $235 million in Forbes’ latest MLS franchise rankings.
Most Valuable MLS Clubs As of 2019:
- Atlanta United — $500 million
- LA Galaxy — $480 million
- LAFC — $475 million
- Seattle Sounders — $405 million
- Toronto FC — $395 million
While a few potential Real Salt Lake purchases have fallen through, there’s still reportedly interest from other bidders, including an international group looking to establish its presence in U.S. soccer.
MLS will take over the sale process from Hansen on Jan. 8 if a deal isn’t struck by then.