The Qatar Investment Authority purchased a roughly 5% stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, becoming the first sovereign wealth fund to invest in a major U.S. professional sports team.
Monumental owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Capitals, as well as the WNBA’s Mystics. Qatar’s investment values Monumental at around $4 billion, Front Office Sports confirmed.
The investment was first reported by Sportico.
Qatar’s biggest sports investment to date came in 2012, when it purchased majority ownership of Paris Saint-Germain, the French soccer powerhouse valued at $4.2 billion. In a similar vein, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has invested in LIV Golf and pro soccer.
Monumental’s assets include Capital One Arena and Monumental Sports Network, which was recently rebranded after MSE acquired full control of NBC Sports Washington last year.
The Wizards and Capitals have a combined estimated valuation of $3.7 billion.
Over the last year, the NBA and NHL opened up rules for private equity. Each league has a 20% cap for capital investment in a team by a single firm, and franchises in those two sports can have no more than 30% private equity ownership overall.
“The NBA Board is currently reviewing a potential investment by QIA in Monumental Sports & Entertainment,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said.
Beyond being the managing partner for Monumental, Ted Leonsis has shown interest in acquiring the Washington Nationals. His $2 billion offer wasn’t accepted for the team last year.