Rumoured for months, now it’s official. Two soccer teams and their stadium are being sold for supposedly $400-450 million. The buyer already owns the Minnesota Vikings and is minority shareholder in Nashville SC.
Majority owner of Orlando City, Flávio Augusto da Silva, has yesterday confirmed what’s been rumoured since late last year. He’s selling the entire MLS franchise (including women’s team Orlando Pride and Exploria Stadium) to the Wilf family, who already own the Vikings.
The transaction is understood to be in its final stages, expected to result in transition between June and July. As with most ownership changes in American major leagues, the deal has to be approved by MLS Board of Governors before it’s allowed to go through. Official value of the agreement remains a secret but estimates put the value at $ 400-450 million (€ 331-373 m today).
The Wilf brothers (Zygi, Mark and Leonard) have been eager to secure their own MLS franchise but their bid to build a team in Minnesota back in 2015 had failed. With combined net worth at some $5 billion, the Wilfs will now own two major league franchises outright, while they’re also all individually listed as minority shareholders of Nashville City SC.
It’s unclear what value was assigned to the stadium but the 4-year-old facility was built at a price of $155 million. Exploria Stadium remains one of the largest soccer-specific stadiums delivered in the US and before the public health restrictions it enjoyed average occupancy of app. 90%, or 22,000-23,000 people per game out of 25,500 possible.