Possible buyers included his partner, William Chang, as well as John Hendricks, chairman of Discovery Communications and owner of the WPS Washington Freedom. In the two years since MacFarlane and Chang had bought the team, a proposed stadium development deal at Poplar Point in Washington had collapsed, and efforts to pursue a deal in Maryland's Prince George's County were rebuffed, while MacFarlane, a real-estate entrepreneur, had begun to look at other investments.
News of such a deal came Thursday and indeed Chang has bought up the shares of his former partner. They, along with minority investors, former Duke basketball stars Christian Laettner and Brian Davis, bought the team from Anschutz Entertainment Group in January, 2007, for a reported $33 million.
No price for the transaction between MacFarlane and Chang has been released; as a result of the deal, Chang will own 98 percent of the shares allotted to teams under the MLS single-entity system, by which the league retains a 50.1 ownership of each teams. Laettner and Davis remain as minority partners.
"We have many challenges ahead for both the team and a stadium site, but I am confident we will emerge successful on both fronts -- including bringing the club to a stronger international level," said Chang. "We will only improve our strategy on and off the field."