Monday December 4, 2023

The New Rush to Invest in MLS Teams

  • Major League Soccer team values are continuing to rise.
  • Mark Ingram II is buying into D.C. United at a $710 million valuation.
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
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Soccer is Gen Z’s third-favorite sport, and investors are buying into the growth potential of Major League Soccer.

Houston Texans running back Mark Ingram II will become the latest MLS team investor when he buys a minority stake in D.C. United at a $710 million valuation, per Sportico. 

That figure represents one of the highest valuations in MLS history. LAFC also recently received a valuation north of $700 million when some of its owners bought out Vincent Tan, a Malaysian businessman who also owns Wales-based Cardiff City FC. 

Even though MLS teams typically lose money each year, values are rising fast and are hard to peg down. Chicago Fire FC was valued at $240 million in 2018, and then at $400 million the next year.

The league has been a major target for athlete investors.

  • Three Brooklyn Nets have stakes in three different teams: James Harden is a part owner of Houston Dynamo FC, Kevin Durant invested in the Philadelphia Union, and coach Steve Nash has a piece of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • Two Seattle legends Russell Wilson and Ken Griffey Jr. own part of the Seattle Sounders.
  • LAFC’s ownership group includes Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm, and Nomar Garciaparra.

The league itself has been expanding quickly. FC Cincinnati, Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC, and Austin FC have all entered the league since 2019. Charlotte FC and St. Louis SC are slated to join in 2022 and 2023.

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