Monday December 4, 2023

MLS, NWSL Team Investments Going Strong

  • Major League Soccer and the National Women's Soccer League have been sought after targets for new and established sports owners.
  • Some owners have stakes in both leagues.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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The Wilf family, owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, completed their purchase of Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride last week, the latest in a flurry of soccer team investments.

Terms weren’t disclosed, but the deal has been pegged at up to $450 million. The DeVos family, which owns the NBA’s Orlando Magic, joined as a limited partner.

The Wilfs are among several individuals investing in both MLS and NWSL teams.

  • Ted Segal bought the Houston Dynamo and Dash in June for an estimated $400 million. Oscar De La Hoya and the Brooklyn Nets’ James Harden became minority owners of both franchises.
  • In December, Dell Loy Hansen, owner of MLS’ Real Salt Lake, sold the NWSL’s Utah Royals FC to a group that moved the franchise to Kansas City.
  • Mia Hamm-Garciaparra is a part owner of LAFC and Angel City FC, which is set to join the NWSL in 2022. 

MLS clubs are on an upward trend: Both DC United and LAFC were recently valued at over $700 million.

The nature of MLS team ownership could be set to change. Earlier this month, MLS opened its doors to private equity financing after taking close to $1 billion in losses last year due to pandemic-related attendance shortfalls.

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