The Wilf Family, owners of the Vikings, have agreed to purchase Orlando City SC of MLS, Orlando Pride of NWSL and the stadium they play in (Exploria Stadium). The deal is expected to be somewhere around $400 to $450 million according to numerous sources.
Lester Bagley, Vikings Executive VP of Public Affairs, spoke with the Orlando Sentinel:
“The Wilf family is excited to become stewards of the Orlando City Soccer Club of MLS and the Orlando Pride of the NWSL,” said Bagley, who has worked closely with the Wilf family on a variety of projects for the past 16 years. “Among our goals are to build championship soccer clubs for the passionate and loyal soccer fans of the region, provide a best-in-class fan experience, and use our platform for positive impact in the Orlando community. We are optimistic that our acquisition will be finalized after the customary closing process is completed, and we look forward to making an official announcement in the near future.”
This comes after the Wilf Family’s failed bid for the Minnesota MLS Franchise back in 2015. The Wilf’s wanted to have the team play in US Bank Stadium, similar to how Atlanta United uses Mercedes Benz Stadium. MLS decided to go with another group that planned to build the soccer specific stadium in St. Paul. The Wilfs currently own a minority stake in Nashville SC, which they will have to sell. The Wilf group consists of Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf. It sounds like Mark has been the leader in their efforts to secure a soccer franchise.
MLS has been growing rapidly with the Millennial age group and I would say this is a solid investment for the family. The current owner of Orlando City SC paid $70 million expansion fee in 2015 to become part of the MLS and the stadium is estimated at $180 million. That is a nice profit in 6 years.
Congratulations to the Wilfs! I am an Atlanta United supporter and therefore will be cheering for Orlando City to crash in burn, but maybe a little less now.
BREAKING: Lions owner Flávio Augusto da Silva sold Orlando City to the Wilf family today.— Julia Poe (@byjuliapoe) May 12, 2021
The Vikings owners issued a statement saying they are "excited to become stewards of the Orlando City Soccer Club of MLS and the Orlando Pride of the NWSL."https://t.co/oPFyfLmHMR