Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour is closing in on an MLS expansion club based in San Diego and is expected to begin play in 2025.
An official announcement on the league’s 30th franchise could come as soon as mid-May, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The San Diego club’s expansion fee is expected to be around $500 million, surpassing the MLS record of $325 million reportedly paid by Charlotte FC in 2019.
San Diego State University’s Snapdragon Stadium, which is also home to the NWSL’s San Diego Wave, is close to finalizing a lease agreement with Monsour’s investment group. The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, a Native American tribe, is also part of Monsour’s ownership bid.
According to the report, the two sides are “working together to make the deal a reality.”
Reports emerged last month that San Diego had pulled ahead of Las Vegas as the likeliest destination for a 30th franchise.
Snapdragon Stadium is set to host an international friendly between Mexico and Cameroon in June, followed by a Wrexham FC-Manchester City friendly match in July. The venue will also host the 2023 World Lacrosse Championship this summer.
Mansour is chairman of the Mansour Group, an Egyptian conglomerate valued at $6 billion that serves as an international distributor for brands such as McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Red Bull, and UPS.